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End of an Era


A new phase in Sark’s changing system of government began recently with the splitting of the dual role of Seneschal. Originally established in 1675, the role combined both the island’s judge and a non-voting chairman of Sark’s government, Chief Pleas, and was appointed by the Seigneur. Lt Col Reg Guille MBE was the 26th and last person to take the role having been appointed in 2000. The dual role was found to be against the Convention on Human Rights in a case brought against the island by the Barclay brothers, although both Jersey and Guernsey still retain the same system. Jeremy La Trobe-Bateman was recently sworn in by the Royal Court in Guernsey as Sark’s judge and will take the title of Seneschal. On 27th February, at a ceremony in Sark, Reg Guille was sworn in to the new position of President of Chief Pleas after being voted in, unopposed and unanimously, by the island’s Conseillors. Ewan De Carteret was also sworn in as deputy Seneschal. The event took place in the newly renovated Assembly Rooms and began with a short speech by Seigneur Michael Beaumont thanking the local craftsmen and technicians who have carried out the work. As well as new seating for Conseillors the room also has microphones so that speakers can be heard more clearly and an audio system to record sittings of the Court and Chief Pleas. At a Vin d’Honneur afterwards at the Island Hall a presentation was made to Reg recognising his outstanding contribution to Sark and its inhabitants over many years.

Pictures by Sue Daly, clockwise from top left …

Ewan, Jeremy & Reg

Seigneur Michael Beaumont

Jeremy presents Reg with a painting by Rosanne Guille

New seating in the Assembly Room

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