The most public aspect of being a Deputy is making decisions in the States of Deliberation, Guernsey’s Parliament. The activities of the States of Deliberation include making legislation, debating policy and scrutinising Committees.

If you are thinking of standing, you might find it helpful to attend some States' Meetings in person. Members of the public are very welcome to watch the proceedings from the public gallery at the Royal Court any time the States is in session, with further details available in the video below. 

Legislation (called Projets de Loi, Ordinances and Statutory Instruments) and policy proposals (policy letters) are normally circulated to States’ Members around five weeks before the date of the States’ meeting at which they are to be considered. Most months, Members can expect to receive legislation and policy letters running to the equivalent of around 300 to 400 pages of A4.

Amendments to the proposals, of which there are often several each Meeting, are circulated closer to the date of the Meeting. There are few restrictions on speaking in the States and some Members contribute to several debates each month – some give prepared speeches and others prefer to speak without notes. Most voting in the Assembly takes place using the Simultaneous Electronic Voting System (SEV) and the results of votes are published immediately.

In addition to the consideration of both legislation and policy letters originating from States’ Committees, States' Meetings also provide an opportunity for Members to ask questions to Committee Presidents and for Presidents to make statements in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. There is also the opportunity for seven Members to prompt debate on a particular matter by submitting a Requête.

It is also possible for members of the public to listen to States' Meetings online via Microsoft Teams from the relevant Meeting page on BBC Guernsey also broadcast the audio of the meeting live through their website and their 1116 MW frequency.

States’ Meetings generally begin on a Wednesday and typically last two or three days depending on the number of items contained within the Billet d’État. Meetings do not usually fall within school holidays, and sitting hours are normally 09:30-12:30 and 14:30-17:30. The full schedule of Meeting dates is available on the once agreed by the States. 

Members do not need permission to be absent. However, unlike most other parliaments, there is a general expectation that, other than short comfort breaks, Members will attend all of every day that the States sit.

Transcripts of the States’ Meetings are recorded in a document called the Official Report or “Hansard” which provides a written record of the Meeting.

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