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Right of the Greffier to approve and veto propositions (FOI)

Right of the Greffier to approve and veto propositions (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey on behalf of the States Greffe and published on 09 February 2018.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


I understand that until quite recently the Greffier in addition to the Bailiff and Deputy Bailiff had the power to approve propositions from States members to go before the House and like the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff, veto them.


Can you tell me when this right was rescinded?


Can you tell me who was responsible for removing it, and how it was removed (legal / administrative authority)?


Does the Deputy Bailiff still have the ability to veto propositions for members or is the Bailiff now the sole authority?


Is there any mechanism to appeal against the Bailiff's veto, apart from the Royal Court (over which the Bailiff has jurisdiction)?


A and B

Standing Order 21 of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey 2005 sets out how a proposition is lodged and the relevant Standing Orders 21(5), 21(6) and 21(7) have not changed since the introduction of this legislation in 2005.

For information, an extract of Standing Order 21 is provided below and a full text version of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey is available at the following link:

Standing Orders of the States of Jersey

Extract from Standing Orders of the States of Jersey:

21 How a proposition is lodged

(1) A member of the States or a body wishing to lodge a proposition shall give a draft of it to the Greffier.

(2) The draft must be accompanied by the proposer’s statement of whether the proposition, if adopted, would have any implications for the financial or manpower resources of the States or any administration of the States and, if there are such implications –

(a) set out the proposer’s estimate of those implications; and

(b) explain –

(i) how the proposer has calculated his or her estimate of those implications, and

(ii) how, when and from where, in the proposer’s opinion, they could be sourced.

(3) The proposer may request information from any Minister responsible for the resources in question and a Minister shall, when so requested, ensure that the proposer is provided with complete and accurate information sufficient to enable the proposer to prepare the statement.

(4) The draft may be accompanied by a report setting out why the proposer considers that the proposition should be adopted.

(5) The Greffier shall review the draft proposition and, if he or she considers necessary, advise on its wording.

(6) The Greffier shall then submit the draft proposition to the Bailiff.

(7) The Bailiff shall –

(a) approve the draft proposition without alteration;

(b) subject to the agreement of the proposer, approve the draft proposition with such alterations as he or she considers necessary; or

(c) rule the draft proposition out of order and direct that the proposer be informed of the reasons for his or her decision.


Under Article 5 of the Departments of the Judiciary and the Legislature (Jersey) Law 1965 the Deputy Bailiff can carry out the functions of the Bailiff if the latter is absent or incapacitated. The full text of this legislation is available at the following link:

Departments of the Judiciary and the Legislature (Jersey) Law 1965


Practically speaking, any member who has a proposition ruled out of order can speak to the Bailiff and discuss with the Bailiff how the proposition could potentially be amended to ensure that it meets the requirements of Standing Orders.

There is no right of appeal to the Royal Court against a decision of the Bailiff that a draft proposition is out of order. The correct way to challenge such a decision is to bring a proposition to the States under Standing Orders 98(3) and 167(3)(b). Although technically such a proposition also requires the consent of the Bailiff to lodging under Standing Order 21, the test on whether it would be allowed would also be whether it was in order. It would not be out of order simply because it challenged the Bailiff’s ruling on the earlier proposition.

This response has been issued on behalf of the States Greffe. The States Greffe is responsible for the information held by (and on behalf of) both itself and the States Assembly.  Neither the States Assembly nor the States Greffe form part of the Government of Jersey and the Government was not involved either in the examination and retrieval of any information required for this response, nor in the drafting of the response itself.​​

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