What Is A Crown Dependency?

Saint Peter Port is the capital city of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Saint Peter Port is the capital city of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Crown dependencies are self-governing jurisdictions of the Crown. The United Kingdom has three crown dependencies, Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel.

Governance of the Crown Dependencies of the UK

The United Kingdom or the British Overseas does not maintain sovereignty over these islands. The crown vests the sovereignty of these crown dependencies. These islands administer their jurisdictions, however, their jurisdictions are unique and differ from one crown to the other crown. Despite their sovereignty, the international community still considers these crowns to be a responsibility of the United Kingdom. These crowns are therefore not considered to be member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. The crowns, however, have a relationship with these international organizations such as the European Union and the Commonwealth since they are members of the British-Irish Council. Another fascinating thing is that their teams still participate in Commonwealth games. These crown dependencies are located within the Customs area of the EU but are not part of the European Union.

Legislation in Crown Dependencies

The government of the United Kingdom has the power to pass legislation that affects these Islands since these Crown dependencies are not considered to be sovereign states. However, each of the legislative assemblies of these crowns still has the power to pass laws that affect them locally. The head of government of these crowns is known as the Chief Minister. The Law officers of the crown in Jersey define their crown constitutionally as the "Crown in right of Jersey." For this reason, the Crown land in the Bailiwick of Jersey does not belong to the Crown Estate of the United Kingdom but the Crown in right of Jersey. Laws that exist in the Isle of Man creates "Crown in right of the Isle of Man" as a separate entity from "Crown in right of the United Kingdom." In Guernsey, the laws refer to the crown as "Crown in right of the Bailiwick," which consists of civic and collective governmental institutions. The rules of the Monarch are the basis on which such institutions are established. The Privy Council in this crown consists of Parish Authorities, the Royal Court and other courts, legislatures of Guernsey, and the Lieutenant Governor.

Geography and Demography of Crown Dependencies

The Isle of Man is found in the Irish Sea. This crown dependency has an area of 572 sq km and a population of 84,997. The capital of The Isle of Man is Douglas. Bailiwick of Guernsey is found in the English Channel with an area of 78 sq km. It has a population of 65,849 and the capital is Saint Peter Port. Bailiwick of Jersey, on the other hand, is also located on the English Channel covering an area of 118.2 sq km. It has a population of 100,080 with its capital at Saint Helier. Bailiwick of Jersey consists of the island of Écréhous, Minquiers, and Jersey. On the other hand, the Bailiwick of Guernsey comprises of the islands of Jethou, Herm, Sark, Lihou, Brecqhou, Guernsey, and Alderney. A Bailiff heads each of these bailiwicks. The Isle of Man issues Manx banknotes and Coins of the Manx pound.


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