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Qualifying as a Guernsey Advocate

There are several stages that need to be completed in order to qualify as a Guernsey Advocate. These can be broken down as follows:

Certificat d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises et Normandes

4 week course in Guernsey, taught remotely from France, in September each year, plus 2 weeks study/exams

6/12 months










Academic legal qualification

3 routes:

Vocational training

3 routes:

Guernsey Pupillage

Guernsey Bar Exams

Licence or Maîtrise en Droit



non-law degree + GDL


Senior Status

LPC (+ training contract)




3 years


1 year


2 years

1 year (+ 2 years)


2 years

1 year

3 months' study

6 weeks

3 (+1) years

The Guernsey Bar Course runs from October to May each year. with exams sat in May

French University Bachelor Degree/Masters Degree in Law

Called to Bar


3 months' supervision


The rigorous process of becoming an Advocate ensures the quality of Guernsey’s legal system remains unrivalled in the offshore world.



Qualification for the Guernsey Bar may take one of a variety of routes.

An Aspirant to the Guernsey Bar must:

(a) qualify as a barrister or solicitor in England & Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland,

(b) obtain a Certificat d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises et Normandes from the University of Caen, and

(c) pass the Guernsey Bar Exams set under the auspices of the Royal Court.

According to Section 3(3) of the Bar Ordinance 1949, the standard duration of pupillage in Guernsey is 12 months for individuals who have followed the Bar or Faculty routes of England, Ireland, or Scotland. This duration is reduced to six months if the individual has already completed at least six months of pupillage within the relevant jurisdiction.


There is no statutory requirement governing the order in which these steps must be taken. However, aspirants are required to complete a period of twelve months' pupillage unless they have already completed a full English Bar Pupillage, in which case the period is reduced to six months. This period of training must be undertaken with a firm of Guernsey Advocates or the Law Officers under the supervision of a Pupil Master who must be a Guernsey Advocate of at least five years' standing. The Pupillage & Assessment Guide 2024 is available here.

According to Section 3(2) of the Bar Ordinance 1949, individuals who have obtained a Licence or Maîtrise en Droit from a French university are recognised for the purpose of fulfilling the educational requirements necessary for legal practice in Guernsey.

Qualification in England & Wales remains the most common route to Guernsey qualification. The barrister route is presently less time-intensive than the solicitor route. The latter usually requires a further two years with a law firm as a trainee (though the training contract requirement has been modified in recent years), whereas qualifying as an English barrister is limited to passing the English Bar Exams.

Aspirants should refer to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s website for information about becoming an English solicitor, and to the Bar Standards Board’s website for information about becoming an English barrister.

Finally, and in addition to the qualification requirements, there is a residency requirement such that an Aspirant cannot be admitted to the Guernsey Bar unless s/he has been ordinarily resident in Guernsey for a period of at least two years after having attained the age of 16.

Further information

Full details on the Guernsey Bar Course & Exams can be found here.

More information about Université de Caen and The Certificat d’Etudes Juridiques Françaises et Normandes can be found here.

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