Assize d'Heritage: Dress to impress
If you were out and about in St Helier this morning you may have witnessed a colourful old tradition in the Royal Square.
It was all part of the process Jersey lawyers undertake every year to renew their oaths in court.
The Assize d'Heritage also involves the island's seigneurs - or lords of the manor.
It is a traditional ritual, dating back more than 500 years, and it is believed to be the second oldest land court in Europe.
The pomp and ceremony hark back to a time when lawyers, Jurats and Feudal Lords of the Manor were in power.
Jersey's Attorney General Tim le Cocq said the day was a reminder of how some laws have evolved over the hundreds of years.
He said "If convicted of adultery, then a crime, a person would be imprisoned and publically punished in the stocks, and then in the quaint but rather chilling language of the time, whipped to the afusion of blood, unless of course you were a States member, in which case you got fined. I wonder what the European Court of Human Rights would make of that today."
Justice may be better balanced now, but legal fees are hugely expensive. Although, the creation of Legal Aid is seeing the start of a fairer system.
Jersey's Batonnier Sue Pearmain said, "The expenses are high and we want to make sure justice is available for everyone, not just the very poor or the very rich, so legal aid covers those who find it difficult to meet legal fees. There's a criteria that's laid down in the guidelines and if one meets that criteria, sometimes one makes a contribution, sometimes one doesn't pay at all."