Skip to content

How does a Jurat get sworn in?

 

Felicity Quevâtre-Malcic was elected as a Jurat of the Royal Court on Wednesday 26th February 2020, gaining 45 of the 84 votes available.

Being elected as a Jurat is, as the Deputy Bailiff put it, “the greatest honour Guernsey can bestow on a member of the community”. The process is steeped in tradition, but most Islanders have little idea of how it works.

In an earlier article, we described the election itself. Here we follow Felicity as she is notified of her appointment and sworn in:

Immediately after the announcement of the election result, the Deputy Bailiff, as Deputy Presiding Officer of the States of Election, directed Her Majesty’s Sheriff to notify Felicity that she had been elected as a Jurat of the Royal Court at that morning’s sitting of the States of Election, and asked that she present herself at the Royal Court at 9:30am on the morning of Monday 9th March.

HM Sheriif at the door of Jurat Felicity Quevatre-MalcicHalf an hour later Felicity opened her front door to find H.M. Sheriff, decked out in her top hat and purple cravat, repeating the words of the Deputy Presiding Officer. H.M. Sheriff knew where to find Felicity because all candidates are asked in advance for details of their exact whereabouts on the day of the election.

On the morning of the swearing in ceremony, Felicity was not present in the Royal Court at first. About a dozen Law Officers, Advocates and court officials were seated in black robes in the well of the Court, with family, friends and members of the public in the Public Gallery. The Deputy Bailiff (the Bailiff was off-island) and the Jurats were announced by H.M. Sheriff and took their seats on the bench. After the review and approval of three new pieces of legislation, the Court was ready to receive Felicity. H.M. Comptroller (Junior Law Officer) and the Senior and Junior Jurats were sent to bring her from the precincts of the court into the chamber.

Felicity followed the Senior Jurat into the court, with the Junior Jurat following her, and was asked to approach the bar. Jurat Stephen Jones, as Senior Jurat, presented her to the court in French. Felicity was then asked to move forward to H.M. Greffier’s desk where the Greffier read out a long oath in French which included a reference to “the peril and condemnation of your soul” should she fail to honour her promise to the Court. Having sworn her oath, the Deputy Bailiff declared that Felicity was duly appointed as a Jurat of the Royal Court; and that Jurat Quevâtre-Malcic should leave the court, led by H.M. Sheriff, to put on her robes.

Text of Press article about Jurat Quevatre-MalcicA few minutes later Jurat Quevâtre-Malcic arrived back into the Court through the judicial entry (the door to the top bench), announced by H.M. Sheriff.  She shook hands with the Deputy Bailiff and with each of her fellow Jurats in turn, and then took her seat alongside them (at the end of the row as she is the most junior) and listened as the Deputy Bailiff gave a warm speech of welcome. He described Felicity’s experience and skills, welcomed her friends and family and assured her that he and the rest of the Court would be there to support her. He also acknowledged that the make-up of the Jurats’ bench was changing as more women were appointed.

The Court then continued with its business, hearing from two Advocates who were applying for licences on behalf of their clients. In all, the court session lasted about 40 minutes, after which Jurat Quevâtre-Malcic had her photo taken by the Guernsey Press and adjourned to the OGH with her family and friends for a celebratory cup of coffee. She will sit on her first case in the Summer.

Read more about the role of Jurat.

 

Who is H.M. Sheriff?

Jayne Limond holds the position of Her Majesty’s Sheriff and Her Majesty’s Sergeant in Guernsey.

Jayne is only the second woman to be appointed to the position and certainly the youngest. Historically the roles of H.M. Sheriff and H.M. Sergeant were held by different officers. However, for many years, they have been held by the same person.

H.M. Sheriff is responsible for keeping order in meetings of the States of Deliberation and the States of Election and carries out the directions of the Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff as presiding officer. H.M. Sheriff attends Royal and Magistrate’s Court sittings in person, or more often by deputy.

The role of H.M. Sergeant is to attend court sessions and keep order in addition to serving summonses and other legal notices.

 

 

Photo of Jurat Quevâtre-Malcic and Press articles courtesy of the Guernsey Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Jurat Quevatre-Malcic in robes
miriam-makeba-SA

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter 

The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

jacinda-adern-2

Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter