Jersey prides itself on its political independence and its allegiance to the British Crown, through the Privy Council. It is an independence which has been nurtured and developed over more than 800 years since the separation from Normandy in 1204.
In many respects the independence and antiquity of the island's legal system are considered of equal or even greater importance. Jersey law today is based partly on ancient Norman law, partly on British Law as it has developed over the centuries and partly on its own unique characteristics and procedures.
The situation is summarised in a 2009 article by Tim Thornton in the Jersey and Guernsey Law Review. See full article:
"More than a century after the separation of Jersey from Normandy consequent on the failures of the reign of King John, the first confirmation of the Island’s liberties was granted by Edward III in 1341. The customs of the Island had been documented over the previous century, for example through royal inquests, as in 1247 and 1248, and in quo warranto proceedings such as those of 1309. They provided that the Island would not be governed by the law of England or that of Normandy, but by a distinct set of political, social and economic rights and duties which defined the status of the inhabitants and guaranteed the whole through the participation of the Jurats in the judgments given out by the king’s courts in the Island, and exempted the people of Jersey from summons to a secular court elsewhere".