Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs.
Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial and legal and judicial systems.
The island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Although the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as 'the Channel Islands', they are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey has a separate relationship to the British Crown from the other Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man It is not part of the United Kingdom, and has an international identity separate from that of the UK but the United Kingdom is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey. Jersey is not a part of the European Union but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods.
Jersey's unicameral legislature is the Assembly of the States of Jersey. It includes fifty-one elected members: ten senators (elected on an island-wide basis), twelve Connétables (often called 'constables', heads of parishes) and twenty-nine deputies (representing constituencies), all elected for four year terms as from the October 2011 elections. There are also five non-voting members appointed by the Crown: the Bailiff, the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, the Dean of Jersey, the Attorney General and Solicitor General.
The government is a Council of Ministers, consisting of a Chief Minister and nine ministers. Each minister may appoint up to two assistant ministers. A Chief Executive is head of the civil service. Some government functions are carried out in the island's twelve parishes.
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