Tynwald has hosted a study visit for Dr Mark Egan, recently appointed Greffier of the States of Jersey, and Simon Ross, HM Deputy Greffier of the States of Guernsey.
The two-day visit provided opportunities to meet with their Isle of Man counterparts, the Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips, Deputy Clerk Jonathan King and Third Clerk Joann Corkish, as well as with Members and senior officers, and to observe committee proceedings.
Reflecting on the visit Dr Egan, who is currently Deputy Head of Table Office at the House of Commons and will take up his new appointment in December said: ‘Meeting our island “neighbours” is always extremely valuable. We do, of course, share some of the same challenges, not least in matters of parliamentary scrutiny and how best to serve Members, but there is also the issue of how to make the institution of parliament matter to the people and in this Tynwald would seem to be achieving considerable success.’
Mr Ross said: ‘Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are all Crown Dependencies and, as such, largely deal with the same outside agencies, so collaborative working and inter-parliamentary engagement are crucial in helping to strengthen links between us.’
He continued: ‘Although not quite sovereign states we can, as Crown Dependencies, project ourselves through our assemblies,’ and he went on to refer to the importance smaller jurisdictions, in particular, placed on their membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). ‘The CPA is one of the very few international bodies where we are represented in our own right. If we don’t participate, we don’t exist.’
During their visit Dr Egan and Mr Ross attended a briefing from the First Deemster, His Honour David Doyle, which prompted Dr Egan to observe: ‘To have His Honour sit as a Judge of Appeal in the Courts of Appeal in Jersey and Guernsey is enormously valuable as it brings a unique insight and understanding to proceedings.’
Mr Ross went on to say that the scale of Tynwald’s committee work, being more extensive than that of the States of Guernsey, was of particular interest. ‘It’s certainly something that I shall take back, along with how Tynwald successfully engages with the community in celebrating its heritage.’
Echoing the sentiments of Mr Ross Dr Egan said: ‘I, too, was interested to see how tours of Tynwald, the shop, the Tynwald Library and the work of the Information Service are helping to make those important connections between the people and parliament. Outreach is clearly a major part of the work of Tynwald; it’s highly visible and linked to the Isle of Man’s past.
‘In Jersey we, too, are keen to develop meaningful links with the local population. Parliaments are driven now by a new dynamic; a modern parliament can no longer be only for its Members, it also has to be for and engage with the community it serves.’
Simon Ross, left and Dr Mark Egan, right are pictured with the Clerk of Tynwald, Roger Phillips. Photo Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal.
For further information:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500