Skip to content

Justice Framework 2022-29

In short:


If you just want to get up to speed on the Justice Framework quickly, read these two items:



In detail:



The Committee for Home Affairs will ask Deputies to approve a Justice Framework for Guernsey at the States meeting that starts on 25 May 2022.

It is a high level document, setting out the vision, outcomes and principles for 2022-29. A Justice Action Plan detailing actions and timelines will be published later in the year.

The Framework takes a broad view of justice and reaches far beyond law enforcement and the courts. It recognises the wider factors that can lead to crime eg poverty and substance abuse and identifies crossovers with the work of other States committees. It covers family justice and social justice, not just criminal justice. Rather than simply ‘maintaining the community as a safe place to live and work’ (Criminal Justice Strategy 2012), the new Framework has the headline ‘enhancing our safe, inclusive, just and tolerant community’.

Funding for justice projects will be subject to prioritisation in the Government Work Plan. Home Affairs President, Deputy Rob Prow, is already managing expectations, stating that ‘funding or resources will not automatically be available’.


The Justice Review and the sursis motivé

The Justice Framework has been shaped by the Justice Review report, an extensive piece of research and analysis by UK consultants, Dr Gemma Buckland (Do It Justice) and Sophie du Mont (Crest Advisory). The report was commissioned by Home Affairs in 2019 and completed in 2020. It’s lengthy but really worth skimming to help understand the breadth of the justice system in Guernsey and the possibilities for the future. Section 2 of the report identifies how Guernsey people feel about justice in the island, based on a community survey.

The Justice Review report was laid before the States in July 2020 but as an appendix to a ‘green paper‘ (for discussion only, no amendments). Several States members were keen to suspend the rules to have amendments debated. The majority of those amendments related to cannabis. Deputies McSwiggan and Merrett successfully deferred the debate. Their sursis motivé incorporated the amendments and set out a more specific response to the 43 recommendations in the Justice Review report.

The sursis motivé:

– instructed Home Affairs to come back to the States with a Justice Framework by Dec 2022.

– instructed Health and Social Care to create a Combined Substance Use Strategy (drugs, alcohol and tobacco) and present to the States as soon as possible. [The Combined Substance Use Strategy has been published but doesn’t appear to have been debated].

– instructed Home Affairs and HSC to report to the States with options for alternative and less punitive sentences for possession and use of small quantities of illegal drugs within six months of the Combined Substance Use Strategy being considered by the States. [Consultant report completed in Feb 2020: ‘Review of the interaction of health and justice system in relation to the possession of drugs for personal use’ (Professor Harry Sumnall). The most recent statement by the President of HSC referred to ‘meetings of the HSC/HA cross-committee steering group’ being ‘underway’].

Sursis motivé
Media report on sursis motivé
Hansard for the sursis debate


Government Work Plan

After the election of October 2020, the first major task of the States was to agree a Government Work Plan (signed off at June 2021 States meeting). The Justice Review was included as a priority in the plan which resulted in Home Affairs ‘ramping up its work’ and appointing their non-States member, Peter Harwood, as lead for justice policy.


Long-term history of justice policy development in Guernsey

2002: The Townsend Anti-Poverty Policies Report acknowledges that a Criminal Justice Strategy is necessary. (Billet XIV 2005, page 1636)

2003: The Criminal Justice Policy Working Group (CJPWG) is established, focusing on current and alternative sentencing options. (Billet XIV 2005, page 1636)

2005: The report from CJPWG goes wider than sentencing options but is only brought to the States as an Appendix and only those recommendations deemed to be high priority are taken forward. (Billet XIV 2005, page 1637)

2009-12: Full-time Criminal Justice Strategy Co-ordinator recruited. The CJPWG is reconstituted as the Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG). Billet XI 2012 (page 1843).

2012: CJWG report and Criminal Justice Strategy are appended to Billet XI 2012 (policy letter page 1838, report page 1939)

2017: CJWG agrees a Justice Strategy – a new version of the Criminal Justice Strategy, refreshed by Home Affairs (not found online).

2018: Justice Review funded via the P&R Plan.

2019: Justice Review survey conducted by UK consultants.

2020: The consultants’ report is laid before the States as an appendix to a green paper. Successful sursis motivé laid by Deputies McSwiggan and Merrett.

2021: Justice Review prioritised in the Government Work Plan. Advocate Peter Harwood, non-States member of Home Affairs, appointed as lead for justice policy

2022: Justice Framework published.


Relevant media stories

Focus: Criminal justice system “overly punitive for some offences and not strong enough for others” (17 Aug 21, Bailiwick Express)

Seven-year Justice Framework proposal submitted for approval (10 Apr, Bailiwick Express)

Podcast: Advocate for prison reform impressed by Guernsey justice system (11 Apr, Bailiwick Express)

New justice framework’s aim is to keep crime low (14 Apr, Guernsey Press)

Comment: Justice report highlights need to be joined-up (14 Apr, Guernsey Press)

Calls to legalise cannabis in Guernsey (30 April, BBC Guernsey)


Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


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: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email 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 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: 

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