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Greffe

Introduction
Her Majesty's Greffier is the Clerk of the Royal and Magistrate's Courts, Registrar of the Guernsey Court of Appeal and Clerk and Registrar of the States of Deliberation and States of Election.  He is also Registrar-General of births, deaths and marriages.

Early History
It is reasonable to believe that there would have been a clerk to the Royal Court from its earliest days.  A conveyance of land in 1179 makes reference to the clerk of the King's Court.  In 1219, records refer to a clerk to the Warden (or Bailiff).  There is also reference in records to the office of Clerk of the Royal Court in 1320.  By the sixteenth century, the Clerk had acquired the name of Greffier and his registry became styled as The Greffe.

The Office of HM Greffier
Her Majesty's Greffier is appointed by warrant of the Sovereign and is subject to a retirement age of 65 years.

As Clerk of the Royal Court, Her Majesty's Greffier is responsible for:

  • Preparing lists of causes
  • Maintaining records of proceedings
  • Registering judgments, orders and other records; and,
  • The preparation of Acts of Court and other Court documents

He has similar responsibilities for the Guernsey Court of Appeal and the Magistrate's Court.

Her Majesty's Greffier assists the Judiciary in preparing revisions to a range of Practice Directions and Orders of the Royal Court, including Costs and Fees Orders.

Her Majesty's Greffier is the registrar of property transactions, including all conveyances and some leases.  He assesses the Document Duty payable on these (and other) transactions and acts as agent for the States of Guernsey for the payment and collection of this Duty. 

Her Majesty's Greffier is the Registrar-General of births, marriages and deaths and is authorised to licence and supervise civil marriages.

As Clerk and Registrar of the States of Deliberation and States of Election, Her Majesty's Greffier distributes Billets d'Etat and records and publishes the Resolutions and Orders of the States.  He also publishes a record of all Orders in Council and Ordinances.  He administers ballots for the election of Jurats.