Territorial Waters for Lord Seigneurs of Fiefs of Guernsey
Guernsey is a self-governing
dependency of the Crown
with its own directly elected legislative assembly,
its own administrative, fiscal, feudal, and legal systems, and its own courts of law.
Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency located in the English Channel, has control
over its local fishing rights within its territorial waters. The extent of Guernsey Fiefs territorial waters is
determined by international law and extends up to 12 to 100 nautical miles from its coastline under the Monaco
Protocols of International aw. Within this zone, Guernsey fiefs has sovereignty and control over the
foreshore, waters, fishing, beaches, reefs and so forth. Fief Blondel appears to be older than the Seigneurs
of Monaco as the Grimaldi family settled in Monaco in 1297 and Fief Blondel is also older than the ancient:
Sheikhdom of Kuwait, Kingdom of Moscovy Russia 1362, Kingdom of Spain 1479, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of
Belgium etc. Fief Blondel may also be older than the Ottomon Empire, Habsburg Empire, and the Kingdom of Lithuania
depending on how you date the original territory of the Ancient Lords and Fiefs.
However, through cases like La Paz Holdings, the foreshore, fishing rights, and
territorial waters in front of the foreshore belong to the Seigneur or Dame who has feudal and manorial rights to
the beach, treasure, fish, seaweed and waters.
There are roughly 24 private fiefs on the Island. Based on the existing maps,
there may only be 15 fiefs that actually have sovereign foreshore and beach
territory exposed to the ocean and Fief Thomas Blondel is one of them. MAP OF
Fiefs - 1000 Years of Rights in France and the UK
The maritime rights of the Seigneurs of
Monaco represent a fascinating historical aspect of both common law and civil law traditions that date back over a
thousand years. Monaco, a tiny but strategically located principality on the French Riviera, has had a
long-standing association with maritime activities due to its coastal location. The Seigneurs of Monaco, as the
rulers of this region, held significant maritime rights and privileges throughout history.
In common law systems, the concept of
maritime rights of nobility has roots in medieval Europe. Seigneurs, as feudal lords, often possessed authority
over coastal territories, granting them control over ports, fishing, and trade. These rights were recognized and
enforced through customary law, laying the groundwork for later legal developments.
Similarly, in civil law systems, Monaco's
maritime rights have been governed by legal conventions and agreements. The establishment of maritime boundaries
and fishing rights was crucial for coastal territories like Monaco. Historical conventions and treaties between
Monaco and neighboring states, particularly France, have solidified these rights and defined the principality's
For centuries, the Seigneurs of Monaco have
navigated the complex legal landscape of maritime rights, balancing tradition with evolving international norms.
Today, Monaco continues to exercise its maritime rights, playing a vital role in the principality's economy and
In 1984, France and Monaco defined their
maritime boundary through a formal convention. This boundary is determined by a combination of loxodromes (rhumb
lines) and an equidistance segment, forming an enclosed corridor that stretches southward from Monaco's coastline
into the central Mediterranean Sea. The corridor has a width of two nautical miles and extends seaward for a
distance of 100 nautical miles from Monaco's coast. The agreement to establish this narrow corridor was reached to
ensure Monaco had a fair share of maritime space, considering its limited coastal front. Without this arrangement,
Monaco's coastal access would have been significantly restricted by equidistance lines controlled by France's
mainland coast on both sides.
If the waters have not been claimed and are
abandoned by the king, seigneur or prince, then the waters would then belong to the owner of the
In conclusion, the maritime rights of the
Lord Seigneurs and Dames of France Normandy and England showcase the enduring legacy of legal traditions in both
common law and civil law systems. These rights, rooted in centuries of history, highlight the significance of
coastal territories and their connection to the broader legal framework governing maritime activities.
Bailliage de Guernesey
Bailliage dé Guernési
) is a self-governing British Crown
off the coast of Normandy
, France, comprising several of the Channel
. It has a total land area of 78 square kilometres (30 sq mi) and an estimated total
population of 67,334.
The Fiefs of Guernsey are co-equal with the Crown or King
Charles on the land holdings. The Crown Estate
is a collection of lands and holdings in
belonging to the British
as a corporation sole
, making it "the sovereign's public estate", which is neither government property nor part of the monarch's private
Wikipedia articles say that: The
has an official, but not personal claim to the estate, is not involved
with the management or administration of the estate, and has no control of its affairs. For all practical purposes
it is state property,
and in part funds the monarchy. With this statement said, then the fief owners
are sole owners of the foreshore and territorial waters as the Crown may have abandoned the
Approximately 55% of the UK's foreshore is owned by
the Crown Estate; other owners of UK foreshore include the Duchy of Cornwall and the Duchy of Lancaster.
In Orkney, Guernsey, and Shetland, the Crown does not claim ownership of
While Guernsey may claim 12 miles, the Seigneur of Fief Thomas Blondel claims 200
miles from 3 different foreshore areas in Guernsey. Beyond the 12-mile limit, Guernsey's fishing rights are subject
to international agreements and negotiations with neighboring countries, primarily France, as well as the European
Union and Fief Blondel also lays claim to all fishing rights in tandem with international law under the Monaco
Protocols with France. These agreements govern access to fishing grounds and the allocation of quotas for various
fish species. The specifics of these agreements can change over time and may vary depending on the political and
economic circumstances. Since, Fief Blondel was not a part of any of these territorial waters, seabed,
seasted, island, and reef/rocks agreements, the owner of these foreshores and waters maintains independent and
sovereign rights over any and all lands, rocks, reefs, seabed, fishing, oil and gas, minerals, port, and marina
rights related to such territory.
The Crown Estate plays a major role in the development of the offshore wind energy industry in
the UK. Other commercial activity managed by the Crown Estate on the seabed includes wave and tidal
energy, carbon capture and storage
, aggregates, submarine cables and pipelines and the mining of potash
. In terms of the foreshore, the Crown Estate issue licences or leases for around 850 aquaculture sites and owns
marina space for approximately 18,000 moorings. As of 2020
, marine holdings had a value of £4.1 billion.
The seigneurs of fiefs in Guernsey historically held certain fishing rights
associated with their fiefdoms. A fief is a piece of land in Guernsey that is subject to feudal tenure, and the
Seigneur or Dame is the feudal lord who historically held authority over the land and its resources, including
fishing rights. These rights go back over 1000 years.
These fishing rights varied from fief to fief and were typically inherited or
granted as part of the feudal system. The rights could include the privilege to fish in specific areas or to
collect certain types of seafood, such as oysters or seaweed, within the boundaries of the fief. These days, the
rights may extend to the seabed out 12-200 miles with regard to off shore rigs and oil
In some legal instances,
The Guernsey Government had to pay people with rights to the foreshore and business that would be damaged for
loss of earnings. Along the southern shores of the Braye du Valle had been salt pans, their owners receiving
compensation for their loss.
The saltpan businesses receiving £1,750, with the other owners being paid £1,500. In total £3,250 was paid
With the Crown Islands - The fiefs own the seabed below high water mark to
the 12-mile limit and also owns minerals and petroleum (the property in all minerals existing in natural
condition; all mines for the working of such minerals; and all petroleum existing in natural condition) on, in or
under the sea bed beneath the extended territorial sea and retains the rights to coal in the territorial
When the foreshore was gifted to the public, many lawyers specified
that parts of the foreshore are subject to fiefs and owned by the Private
Lord Seigneurs and therefore the whole of the foreshore is not owned by the public as the Crown cannot give what is
not theirs to give.
submission - julian mallinson initial submission - foreshore encroachment policy
review - 16 april 2019.pdf (gov.je)
Similarly, in the 1953 case at the International Court of Justice over the Minquiers and
Écréhous groups in the Channel Islands, the court rejected a French claim based on historic presence and fishing
rights that is remarkably similar to Chinese historic claims in the South China Sea. Instead, the court awarded the
features to England based on subsequent exercise of jurisdiction over them by the Manorial court of the
Citations and References
Territorial and Law of the Sea Disputes | Center for International Maritime
Security | Page 10 (cimsec.org)
Report - Foreshore Encroachment Policy
Review - 14 January 2021.pdf (gov.je)
How autonomous are the Crown Dependencies?
Queen's foreshore gift could cost
Islanders millions, warns advocate - Jersey Evening Post
Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty - United States Department of
mapping project helping to protect seagrass in Channel Islands (bbc.com)
Fief Blondel Beaches Ranked in the Best Portelet | Guernsey with
States vote for Les Pas deal - Jersey Evening
'Ancient property laws must be respected despite foreshore gift' - Jersey Evening
Extending the Bailiwick of Guernsey's Territorial Seas - States of Guernsey
Guernsey Law Review – June 2008 THE CUSTOMARY LAW about THE FORESHORE (1)"
. Retrieved 21 June 2023
foreshore gift could cost Islanders millions, warns advocate - Jersey Evening
The Case for Udal
International Law Relating to Islands |
The Sovereignty of the Sea, by Thomas Wemyss
Fulton.--a Project Gutenberg eBook
(gov.im) Isle of Man
(uniset.ca) Is the Isle of Man an Independent Nation
An Historical Account of Guernsey, From Its
First Settlement Before the ... - Thomas. Dicey - Google Books
International Encyclopedia of Comparative
Law - Google Books
U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project - United States
Department of State
Capital Gains taxes on Guernsey or its Fiefs - TIES-Guernsey.pdf (SECURED) (kpmg.com)
Search (gov.je) Les Pas
Holdings Case Law
Territorial waters - Wikipedia
the BBC and other news is unclear if the State or Crown claims any rights to foreshore or waters in Guernsey.
Guernsey investigates taking seabed ownership from Queen
- BBC News
Bailiwick's territorial waters quadruple (bbc.com)
Royal Charters of Guernsey - Royal Court
Royal charters applying to the Channel
Islands - Wikipedia
The Queen’s Gift Saga – Report – SOS
Guernsey investigates taking seabed
ownership from Queen - BBC News
Extending the Bailiwick of Guernsey's
Territorial Seas - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)
Who owns the seabed, and why it matters
How the Queen came to own the seabed around Britain | Wind power | The Guardian
Attorney Falle, In the Les
Pas Case, He believes that under centuries-old law private rights to many areas of the foreshore do not belong to
the Queen but instead to Seigneurs, or feudal lords, who were granted fiefs – hereditary property rights – by past
‘The legal view in my opinion
is that you cannot give away what you do not have,’ said Mr Falle.
About Guernsey International Waters Location
Guernsey, situated in the Gulf of St Malo, is located approximately 120 kilometers south of England and about 50
kilometers west of France. Together with Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, and associated islets, it constitutes the
Bailiwick of Guernsey. This group, along with the Bailiwick of Jersey, forms the geographical entity known as the
Channel Islands. Guernsey encompasses an area of approximately 62 square kilometers and boasts a population of
around 63,000 residents. The capital and primary hub of business activity is St. Peter Port.
As a Crown Dependency, Guernsey is an independently administered jurisdiction that is distinct from both the
United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories. It holds the status of a self-governing possession under the Crown.
Guernsey's legislative body is called The States of Deliberation, commonly referred to as the 'States,' composed of
38 democratically elected Guernsey Deputies. Notably, political parties do not exist in Guernsey's political
landscape. This assembly possesses the authority to levy taxes, determine expenditures, and enact legislation. The
United Kingdom assumes responsibility for Guernsey's international affairs and defense.
The Policy & Resources Committee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey has presented a proposal for extending
Guernsey's territorial seas. The States are asked to consider the following points: Extending the Bailiwick
of Guernsey's Territorial Seas - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)
To agree that Guernsey's territorial sea should extend up to 12 nautical miles from the relevant baselines in
accordance with international law. As a note, Fief Blondel claims foreshore, waters, beaches, seasted, seabed,
reefs, islands, minerals, water, drilling rights within the 200 miles of territory, and any ECS
Extended Continental Shelf Rights within 200 miles.
To instruct the Policy & Resources Committee to formally request the UK government to make an Order in
Council under the Territorial Sea Act 1987 to extend Guernsey's territorial seas to 12 nautical miles from the
relevant baselines, in line with international law, following similar decisions by Alderney and Sark. As a note,
Fief Blondel claims foreshore, waters, beaches, seasted, seabed, reefs, islands, minerals, water,
drilling rights within the 200 miles of territory, and any ECS Extended Continental Shelf Rights within 200
To note that the extension of territorial seas can occur whether or not maritime boundaries between Guernsey,
Alderney, Sark, France, or Jersey have been agreed.
To authorize the Policy & Resources Committee to negotiate and agree on the coordinates defining maritime
boundaries (median lines) between Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark. As a note, Fief Blondel claims foreshore, waters,
beaches, seasted, seabed, reefs, islands, minerals, water, drilling rights within the 200 miles of
territory, and any ECS Extended Continental Shelf Rights within 200 miles.
To authorize the Policy & Resources Committee, in collaboration with Alderney and Sark, to work with the UK
government to negotiate and agree on coordinates for defining maritime boundaries between Guernsey, France, and
Jersey, if necessary.
To agree that legislative and administrative measures be implemented to maintain the Bailiwick fisheries
management regime as it was before the extension until a new regime is agreed upon.
To agree to enact any necessary legislation to fully implement the extension and make consequential amendments
to existing Bailiwick legislation, if required.
To instruct the Policy & Resources Committee to explore the possibility of transferring Guernsey's foreshore
and seabed from the Crown to the States or another suitable entity, with specific steps outlined depending on
whether an agreement in principle is reached or not.
To direct the preparation of legislation needed to implement the above decisions; however, under international
law of seigneurs and sovereigns such as the Seigneurs of Monaco or the Les Pas Decisions, the Fief Blondel claims
foreshore, waters, beaches, seasted, seabed, reefs, islands, minerals, water, drilling rights within
the 200 miles of territory, and any ECS Extended Continental Shelf Rights within 200 miles.