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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Law Officers' Department: main functions

​​The department acts​ as legal advisers to the govern​ment of the Island. As such, the department is unable to assist members of the public with legal queries.

​The main functions of the department can be summarised as:

Providing legal advice to the Crown, the States and others

  • the department advises the Crown, ministers and departments on matters of law
  • advises States members, Parish Constables, the Dean of Jersey and the Receiver General on matters of law arising out of their public duties
  • ​​prepares reports for the Privy Co​uncil on new legislation submitted to it by the States and liaises with the Ministry of Justice on UK legislation which may be extended to the Island
  • examines international agreements and European Union legislation to determine their relevance to Jersey

Providing a public prosecution service for the Island

  • the department conducts criminal prosecutions in the Royal Court
  • advises and directs States and Honorary police in criminal prosecutions
  • appears at the Court of Appeal and Royal Court in criminal appeals and bail and probation reviews
  • considers information from other departments and, where appropriate, institutes proceedings on statutory infractions before the Courts
  • institutes proceedings where appropriate against States and Honorary police following investigation of complaints
  • authorises warrants for arrest of persons wanted in the Island

Protecting the interests of the Crown and States in civil proceedings

  • represents the States and ministers in civil proceedings brought against the States and liaises with the States insurers for claims covered by States’ insurance policies
  • represents ministers in administrative and civil appeals against ministerial decisions in the Royal Court and Court of Appeal
  • institutes proceedings to recover debts owed to the Treasurer of the States on behalf of other States departments

Performing the functions and duties of the Attorney General

  • carries out the duties which arise as a result of the Attorney General being the Head of the Honorary Police
  • attends States sittings and other duties of a ceremonial nature which arise out of the role of the Attorney General such as swearing-ins and Visites Royales
  • approves draft and amended constitutions and protects the interests of charities in the Royal Court
  • applies for drug trafficking confiscation orders
  • contributes to working parties of the States, in particular the working parties on mentally disturbed offenders and the Magistrate's Court
  • represents the Island in international and inter-insular tribunals, courts and other meetings such as those with the Home Office and Guernsey and the Isle of Man
  • processes documents received from abroad for service under the terms of the Hague Convention;
    exercises powers of investigation under the Investigation of Fraud (Jersey) Law
  • organises applications for liquor licenses in the Licensing Assembly, registration of managers of licensed premises by the Royal Court and gambling licences before the Gambling Licensing Authority
  • organises and processes applications under the Legitimacy, Mental Health, Children and Adoption laws

Assisting overseas law enforcement agencies

  • receives requests and exercise powers on behalf of overseas authorities
  • processes applications for seizure of drug traffickers' property

Carrying out conveyancing work for the Crown and States of Jersey

  • carries out all conveyancing in the sale or purchase of Crown and States properties and researches other enquiries on property matters such as title searches on behalf of Property Services and other departments
  • carries out enquiries and prepares notices for the Planning Department for properties being designated as Sites of Special Interest
  • drafts leases, licences and agreements on behalf of the Property Services Department
  • represents the States in matters relating to compulsory purchases
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