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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 15:08 GMT
Sark delays constitution decision
A key decision on the future of Sark's constitution has been delayed to allow politicians time to get legal advice.

Wednesday's Chief Pleas was expected to make a final decision on whether to end Europe's last feudal state in favour of a fully-elected government.

But the constitutional steering committee instead presented four different options for reform.

Any decision on changes to the way members are elected has now been postponed until March.

Legal challenge

The current feudal system of government means that a mixture of deputies elected by the people and tenants who choose representatives from among their number sit in Chief Pleas.

The previous attempt to update the system involved tipping the balance in favour of more elected deputies.

But Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who live on the nearby island of Brechqou, objected that was not enough and still broke European human rights laws.

Their petition to the Queen's Privy Council was only rejected on the basis that Sark would rethink its plans.

Island politicians have now agreed to seek legal advice and consult the Barclay brothers on whether they would launch a legal challenge against any of the four proposals before they make a final decision.

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