Miscellaneous Matters


Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office



1. The Foreign Affairs Committee has asked for formal clarification from the FCO on the extent to which it has any responsibility for Crown Dependencies such as Jersey.

Responsibility for the Crown Dependencies

2. The Crown Dependencies consist of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The Ministry of Justice holds the policy responsibility for the constitutional relationship with the Crown Dependencies. However, every government department has a responsibility to support the Crown Dependencies in their areas of competence and expertise. This is similar to the relationship between UK government departments and the Overseas Territories.

3. The Crown Dependencies are not Sovereign States. They have no international legal personality separate from that of the UK and, in general, do not represent themselves in international organisations of which the UK is a member, for example at the United Nations, or within the EU. The FCO is responsible for treaties which apply to the Crown Dependencies and has lead responsibility for their international relations. The UK Government as a whole is responsible under international law for ensuring that Agreements that apply to Crown Dependencies are implemented in full, and that the Crown Dependencies comply with any obligations under such Agreements. The responsibility for registering these Agreements with the United Nations lies with the FCO. It is to the FCO that another State or an international organisation would come were an issue relating to treaty compliance or international relations to arise in relation to a Crown Dependency.

16 June 2011

Prepared 7th July 2011