The Bailiff is the first civil officer in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, serving as president of the legislature and the Royal Court. Since 2004, Guernsey's head of government is the Chief Minister. The Bailiff is appointed by the Crown, and generally holds office until retirement age (65). He presides at the Royal Court, and takes the opinions of the Jurats, elected lay judges; he also presides over the States, and represents the Crown in all civil matters.
Laws made the States are known as Projet(s) de Loi before they are passed and Loi or Law(s) afterwards (e.g. The Human Rights (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2000.
A Project de Loi is the equivalent of an English Bill, and a Law is the equivalent of an English Act of Parliament. Laws have no effect until promulgated as Orders-in-Council of the Crown. They are given the Royal Sanction at regular meetings of the Privy Council in London after, which they are returned to the Islands for formal registration at the Royal Court.
The States also make delegated legislation known as Ordinances (Ordonnances) and Orders (Ordres) which do not require Royal Assent. Commencement orders are usually in the form of Ordinances.
Guernsey has no political parties with all representatives being elected as non-partisans.
Following the machinery of government changes in 2004, Guernsey has the following electoral districts, loosely based on the parish system:
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LAMAR S. SMITH (R-TX) HOLDS A HEARING ON IMPEACHING JUDGE MANUEL REAL OF THE UNITED STATE DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Sep 25, 2006; HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: SUBCOMMITTEE ON COURTS, THE INTERNET, AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY HOLDS A HEARING ON IMPEACHING MANUEL...