POLITICS: Democracy Coming Soon for the Self-Sufficient Population of Sark

Article excerpt

The Channel Island of Sark moved a step closer to democracy yesterday after the UK Privy Council approved changes to the rules governing the state.

The tiny island's government has been run on a feudal basis for the past 450 years.

The Privy Council's decision enables Sark's judiciary and parliament to be significantly modernised.

A spokeswoman for the Privy Council said: "The meeting has concluded and the Sark laws have been approved."

Lying 80 miles off the south coast, Sark has been governed by a mix of landowners and elected people's deputies since the 1600s.

The island's parliament, the Chief Pleas, has already approved new reform laws to introduce a 28-member elected chamber following a recent referendum in which the islanders voted for democracy.

These proposals were formally approved by the Privy Council yesterday.

This new model is intended to replace the current system of 40 landowners or tenants and 12 elected deputies. …