The Institute was incorporated by the Royal Court of Jersey in 2008 with the aims of providing a focus for the study of the laws of the Channel Islands and of nurturing their legal heritage. The Institute is an independent not-for-profit body, having close working relationships with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and other academic bodies in the Islands, but is independent of government. It receives no state grants or subsidies and aims to preserve that financial independence. The Institute has established a charitable foundation serving to guarantee the Institute’s economic stability and to enable the granting of scholarships and bursaries so as to ensure that no one is prevented by financial hardship from pursuing studies at Law House.
The Institute of Law’s principal objective is “to advance learning and knowledge by teaching and research”. It prepares you for the University of London LL.B and for a full range of degrees from Certificates to LL.M and PhD. The institute provides the initial academic training in Jersey Law with the Jersey Law Course, which has been designed principally for those intending to qualify as advocates or solicitors of the Royal Court of Jersey. Rooted in tradition, the Institute of Law Jersey is also a cutting edge teaching and research institution without equivalent. The Institute contributes to the Jersey Legal Information Board’s (www.jerseylaw.je ) strategy of making the law and legal processes more accessible to the public and to developing an integrated legal system.
The law library of the Royal Court, Law Society of Jersey and Institute of Law is held within Law House. The Institute is expanding the library so that it can become a useful resource for students, members of the legal profession and for researchers. The legal systems of the Channel Islands, with their roots in the customary law of Normandy, have been subject to numerous influences over the centuries, but principally from English law and the law of France. Jersey and Guernsey form part of the group of ‘mixed’ jurisdictions (such as Scotland, South Africa and Quebec) whose laws derive in part from the common law and in part from the civil law. Their legal systems offer fascinating opportunities for historical study but also for insights into the possibilities for a new ius commune in Europe. The Institute holds seminars and conferences at which these ideas can be explored by academics, judges and practitioners.
The Institute’s Governing Body is chaired by Advocate Stephen Baker and is directed by Professor David Marrani.