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How to become a Jurat in Jersey
Jurats on Liberation Day 2009
Jurats are elected by an electoral college

The role of Jurat dates back to the 13th century and was originally set up by King John to keep pleas.

The office was called for in the constitution of King John, issued in 1204 and included an order to the island to elect its 12 best sworn men.

A Jurat is responsible for ensuring law and justice is maintained and is regarded as the most prestigious office a Jersey citizen can be elected to.

There are 12 Jurats in the island and they're in office until they turn 72.

Jurat's act as lay juror, who along with the Bailiff form the Royal Court and oversee polling at the islands elections.

The original role of the Jurats was judicial and legislative but the legislative side of the role was removed in 1948 was the States of Jersey was reconstituted without them.

Jurats are appointed by an Electoral College, made up of the Bailiff, Jurats, the 12 Constables, elected States members and members of the Jersey Bar and Royal Court Solicitors.

When a vacancy comes up for a new Jurat a letter is sent announcing the vacancy to every member of the Electoral College by the Bailiff.

It is then up to the members of the Electoral College to nominate candidates for the vacant position. Each candidate has to be nominated and seconded by members of the Electoral College.

If the number of candidates matches the number of vacancies then those candidates will become Jurats after being sworn in the Royal Court.

But, if there are more candidates than vacancies then an election will be held with each of the 372 members of the Electoral College getting a vote.

Royal Court
Jurats act as lay jurors in the Royal Court

Then, much like the election of a Minister in the States of Jersey, the Electoral College will vote on the position.

A specially convened meeting of the Electoral College will then take place in the Royal Court where the ballot will be held.

The people nominating and seconding the candidate will speak on their behalf in front of the Electoral College before a vote takes place.

Members of the College will vote in the first round for the candidates and, if no consensus is reach another vote will be called.

If after this second vote there is still no consensus the Bailiff gets to declare the final result.

Anyone elected as a Jurat in the island is required to take an oath of office - this oath is thought to have been in existence since 1204.

Jurats will then form part of the Royal Court and oversee polling at public elections.

Former Samaritans Chairman Suzy Marett-Crosby is the most recent addition to the islands 12 Jurats.

Jurat Suzy Marett-Crosby was sworn in on Monday 07 December 2009 after replacing Mary Newcombe..

Speaking in the Royal Court after the swearing in the Bailiff, Michael Birt, said the community doesn't always appreciate the amount of time Jurats give.

While there is no minimum age to become a Jurat and the only main criteria is that you're a British Citizen, the majority of Jurats tend to be retired.

This is put down to the time commitment involved in the role and the fact that it is unpaid.

In 2008 each Jurat spent an average of 61 days in court over the course of the year and that doesn't include other boards they're on or reading time.

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