Guernsey lies in the English Channel off the north west coast of France. It covers 24 square miles and has a population of approximately 61,000 with the principal centre of business activity being St. Peter Port.
The Channel Islands have a unique constitutional arrangement with the UK. The Islands are possessions of the English Crown as distinct from colonial and overseas dependencies of the United Kingdom and accordingly the locally elected legislative assemblies have the exclusive right to legislate on matters of domestic concern to the Islands (including taxation) whilst the United Kingdom Home Office is responsible for the external affairs of the Islands.
The Islands are associated members of the European Community and as such are only subject to European law in so far as they specifically contract in to the European Community. Thus they have elected to become part of the common tariff and agricultural levy system but are not subject to European law in most other areas.
The official language is English although French is still spoken and the legal system is based upon a mixture of English and French law.