Criminal Justice in Guernsey 1680-1929


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Guernsey, once part of Normandy, was annexed to the English Crown after mainland Normandy was lost to the French King in 1204. In return for continuing allegiance to the Crown, islanders were allowed to retain their own legal system and were not made subject to the Westminster parliament. 

Over the period covered by this study, Guernsey’s criminal justice system evolved from one based on the Norman Coutume and French criminal practice, to one more akin to that of England and Wales.  In parallel, it also changed from what was primarily a dispute-resolution service for private individuals into a tool for the management of the community at large. 

This book chronicles both these processes through a series of case studies covering everything from murder to petty theft, whilst also charting developments in local policing and penal practices.  Throughout the account, transformations in the criminal justice system are related to broader changes in the local society and compared with developments elsewhere.  The core focus of the book is however a human one, with the emphasis throughout on the lived experience of both offenders and victims.

Dr Rose-Marie Crossan is a Guernsey-born independent historian specialising in all aspects of the island’s social history.  Rose has a degree in French and German from Oxford University then gained a PhD from Leicester University with a thesis on 19th century immigration to Guernsey.  This was published in as Guernsey, 1814-1914: Migration and Modernisation.  Subsequent titles (also carried on this site) are Poverty and Welfare in Guernsey 1560-2015; The States and Secondary Education, 1560-1970; and A Women’s History of Guernsey, 1850-1950.

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Cased, Paperback


by Rose-Marie Crossan


Mor Media


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