Role of constable and Douzenier

Role of Constable

The Constables are Executive Officers of the Parish. The Senior Constable calls a meeting

of the Douzaine (called a ‘Douzaine Meeting’) on average once a month, on the Monday

before the last Wednesday of the month, except for December, when it is earlier, and

August where no meeting is currently held. The purpose of the meeting is to seek advice

from and decisions on the day-to-day administration/management of the Parish from the

Douzaine. In order for any binding decisions to be made at a Douzaine Meeting a minimum

of 7 Douzeniers must be present.

At each January meeting the Reglements are agreed. These are a set of rules by which the

Constables and Douzaine agree to be bound by as a ‘self-regulation’.

Eligibility – a person must be of full age and not be subject to any legal disability. They must

also have been ordinarily resident in Guernsey either for two years immediately prior to

the date or for a period or periods of at least five years in the aggregate at any time before

the date of nomination. Constables need not be on the electoral roll.

Constables hold office for so long only as they continue to reside in the


Term of Office – is 1 to 3 years. A Constable may give the Dean notice before the end of

October in his first or second year that he wishes his term to end at the end of that year. If

both Constables do so, only the Senior Constable’s is effective.

Constables are eligible for re-election after each term of their three years.

Right to resign – a Constable may resign by writing to the Dean of the Douzaine. The

resignation is effective 7 days after the receipt of the letter.

All the Island Constables meet quarterly, informally, to share matters and experiences in

their Parishes with a view to working closer and more effectively.


Role of Douzenier

All parishes have 12 Douzeniers except St. Peter Port which has 20 and the Vale which has


Dean of the Douzaine: The Dean (Doyen) is usually the longest serving Douzenier but does

not have to be. The Dean is elected by the Douzaine.

Parishes elect both the Dean and vice-Dean in December for the following year and he/she

can only be elected for a maximum of 3 consecutive years in each post.

Eligibility – for a Douzenier is the same as for Constable. He also shall hold office for so long

only as he continues to reside in the parish. Also, a Jurat of the Royal Court is not eligible

for the office of a Douzenier.

Term of Office – All Douzeniers hold office for 4 years, with staggered terms so three are

elected each year

Each Parish has a Douzaine that has a slightly different structure although the responsibilities are fundamentally the same.