Jersey politicians have made history by becoming the first parliament in the Commonwealth to hold a meeting and pass laws 'virtually.'
Yesterday's online format allowed all members to participate by proposing laws, grilling Ministers and voting on legislation while adhering to social distancing.
The historic meeting, which was streamed online, was made possible thanks to work between Digital Jersey and the States Greffe.
This afternoon's virtual States Assembly is about to begin. You can view the live stream using the link below. Please note, unfortunately the live stream is not visible on all mobile devices.— States Assembly (@StatesAssembly) April 2, 2020
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/6r5Pdp6UqV pic.twitter.com/kPl8XUG91w
Much of the meeting was presided over by the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, from Digital Jersey's Academy in St. Helier, with Greffier Dr Mark Egan stepping in at points.
“A couple of weeks ago, I never could have imagined being able to stream a virtual parliament within only a matter of days," Dr Egan commented.
"I am especially grateful to Digital Jersey for supporting this initiative and ensuring that democratic processes can function in these difficult times."
Pictured: Politicians were unable to meet in the States Chamber as usual due in order to adhere to social distancing advice.
Tony Moretta, Digital Jersey CEO, added: “When the Greffier approached me for help and advice to run a virtual States Assembly I had no hesitation in offering both a fantastic venue in our Academy and an outstanding individual in Rory Steel to support the plan.
"It was a real pleasure to see what our amazing digital infrastructure and skills can do in Jersey to get even one of our most traditional institutions online.”
The sitting format has since received praise from members of the public and politicians alike.
Can’t be stressed enough. The amazing efforts to ensure a virtual sitting of the islands democracy was able to take place will be rightly placed in history as a powerful achievement. Proud today (mindful of the much work & issues ahead) to be a states member & an islander. ????????✌???? https://t.co/bqy1qBwmHR— Deputy Kevin Pamplin (@KevinPamplin) April 2, 2020
Another online meeting is being scheduled.
Pictured top: Deputy Greffier Lisa Hart and the Bailiff appearing on Deputy Kevin Pamplin's screen during the virtual meeting. (@KevinPamplin/Twitter)
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