The Bailiff of Jersey will be retiring from office next year, it has been announced.
Following approval from Her Majesty The Queen, the 65-year-old Sir William Bailhache, who has been in the role since 2015, will step down from his role as Bailiff of Jersey.
The retirement was announced in the States yesterday with a statement from the Bailiff, read by the Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq QC, in the absence of Sir William himself, who is currently off-island.
In the statement, the Bailiff apologised for his absence but continued to say that he “wanted States Members to be amongst the first to know” of the Queen’s approval of his request to retire in October next year.
Pictured: The Bailiff's retirement was announced by the Deputy Bailiff in the States Chamber this afternoon.
Sir William’s statement continued: “By then I shall have completed nearly five years as Bailiff and some 20 years of public service. This is a time which is right for me and for my family and with what is now a new Assembly having been in place for 15 months, it seems as good a time as any to make way for a successor.”
In his statement, the Bailiff acknowledged the controversy surrounding the dual role of the Bailiff in recent States debates: “I should like to take the opportunity to say that, like my predecessors, I have tried to be useful in the role as presiding officer in this Assembly, a role which is not always straightforward, and sometimes positively challenging but it has been stimulating and notwithstanding the debate about the role of the Bailiff in the Assembly, I have always appreciated that members have approached that subject without personal rancour.”
Sir William was born and educated in Jersey before qualifying as an advocate and serving Jersey in several roles over his career including Crown Advocate, Attorney General and Deputy Bailiff as well as being appointed as a QC in 2000.
Pictured: Sir William Bailhache has been in the role of Bailiff since 2015 and has previously served as Crown Advocate, Attorney General and Deputy Bailiff.
Sir William continued: “For the first half of my professional life, it never really occurred to me that I would have the opportunity to serve the island in any of the Crown Appointments. I have been very fortunate that that opportunity has come my way and it has been a real honour and privilege that it has done so."
Sir William added: “I will continue to feel that sense of privilege until my retirement date and I look forward to continuing to work with all those who have given me such support and encouragement so far.”
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