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Use of Trusts in Guernsey

August 2009 - Finance. Legal Developments by Ogier .

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Guernsey is a self-governing dependency of the British Crown and does not form part of the United Kingdom. By constitutional convention established over some 900 years the Island has complete autonomy in all matters of internal government, including taxation. The legal system is derived in part from the customary laws of Normandy but has been strongly influenced by English law in trust, company and commercial matters and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council remains the Island’s ultimate court of appeal.

The Island’s special constitutional position has been recognised by the European Union in a protocol (No.3) attached to the United Kingdom’s Act of Accession to the EU. The protocol provides that the Treaty of Rome shall apply to Guernsey only to the extent necessary in relation to the arrangements for the free movement of goods. Accordingly, European Union directives on fiscal harmonisation, financial services and company law do not have effect in Guernsey. The Island has as a result of its constitutional position developed into a leading international finance centre.

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