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Alderney to vote on abortion law and debate air rifle licensing

Alderney to vote on abortion law and debate air rifle licensing

Friday 08 July 2022

Alderney to vote on abortion law and debate air rifle licensing

Friday 08 July 2022


The States of Alderney will be updating its abortion and dangerous weapons legislation on 20 July, while debating several important issues to the island.

The Billet D’etat has now been released, alongside the proposed updated legislation to be debated.

Abortion

While the States of Guernsey has pushed forward with its modernisation of abortion laws, and most recently amended the 1997 law to allow for abortions up to 24 weeks, Alderney has been operating under outdated legislation.

“Alderney, it appears has been operating under ‘The Loi sur L’Avortement, 1910’, which is focussed on those who support abortion and does not have any reference to any type of legalised activity,” said the Chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee, Mr Ian Carter.

“We have been assured that there is no change in position in terms of abortion provision for Alderney women, as it is a procedure that falls under Obstetrics and Gynaecology which is a secondary health care service provided in Guernsey which women in Alderney are entitled to receive under the Guernsey Law, Alderney not currently having an Abortion Law does not affect this position.”

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Law Officers have now drafted the Abortion (Alderney) Law 2022 which brings the island in line with legislation implemented in Guernsey. 

Employment Permits

The States of Alderney will be asked to approve an amendment to employment permits law, to “make provision for agency care workers, essential workers, midwifes or nurses”.

The option is being brought forward because during the covid pandemic the P&F Committee were made aware that the current legislation – the Employment Permits Ordinance, 1980 – did not offer enough flexibility in emergency situations.

If the amended ordinance is approved the Chief Executive of the States will be able to certify someone whose employment would be essential to the island. This would in turn bypass the requirement for an employment permit. 

Credit and Finance Legislation

The Lending, Credit and Finance Law, 2022, is an essential part of the Bailiwick’s preparations for the incoming MoneyVal inspection.

P&F is asking the States of Alderney to approve the new credit and finance law, to keep the island in line with changes coming into effect in Guernsey.

Reciprocal Health Arrangement

A proposed new Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) with the UK has been developed by Guernsey’s Committee for Health & Social Care. The arrangement with the UK would allow residents of both the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK free access to medically essential treatment.

Approval for HSC’s policy letter will be sought from the States of Guernsey next week and subsequently, the States of Alderney will be given the opportunity to follow suite and implement the RHA too. 

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Mr Carter said: “The Policy and Finance Committee at its meeting on the 27 June 2022 considered the Policy letter entitled ‘Reciprocal Health Arrangement between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the United Kingdom’ dated 13 June, 2022 and resolved for the Policy Letter and propositions relating to the States of Alderney be submitted to the July Billet for approval.”

You can read more about the RHA HERE.

Diocese of Salisbury

Due to an “administrative oversight” the States of Alderney have been unable to consider a policy letter debated by the States of Guernsey on 28 April.

It related to attaching the Bailiwick of Guernsey to the Diocese of Salisbury. The propositions will now be put before the States of Alderney for approval.

Dangerous Weapons

A review of Alderney’s Dangerous Weapons Ordinance, 1965, found that there was an “immediate need to address issues of clarification of meaning”.

Changes in legislation, if approved, would include: 

  • A provision is made under Section 3 of the ordinance to provide for a weapon certificate to be granted to a person over the age of 15 years to purchase, acquire or have in the person's possession a smooth bore gun if the person is a member of an approved club.  
  • Under Section 4 there is provision to exempt a States Armourer from the requirement of holding a weapons certificate whilst he has in his possession a dangerous weapon or ammunition whilst acting in the execution of his duties; and a new Section 4A to deal with the disposal of dangerous weapons held for safekeeping and public safety.  
  • Under Section 5 clarification is made regarding the restriction on the use of dangerous weapons and the exemptions attached to some uses; a new Section 5A is inserted to provide for a permit to shoot vermin or pests with smooth bore gun, rifle or air rifle.  
  • A new Section 8A provides for approvals to be given to a person by the Clerk of the States (the Chief Executive) under any provision of the Ordinance and Section 10A provides for powers of search with a warrant. 

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