Jurat is the name given to the clause at the foot of an affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 showing when, where, and before whom the actual oath was sworn or affirmation was made.

In addition, the word can refer to the sworn holders of certain offices.

English and American law

In English and American law, the word jurat is applied to that part of an affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 which contains the names of the parties swearing the affidavit, the actual statement that an oath or affirmation has been made, the person before whom it was sworn, the date, place and other necessary particulars. The jurat is usually located on the bottom of a document. A typical form would be Sworn to before me this DD day of Month, 20__, with the
signature of the witness, often a notary public
Notary public
A notary public in the common law world is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business...

, the venue, and sometimes other particulars. Old forms of jurats ran as Juratum...die...coram..., which then gave in English Sworn this...day of...before me.

Additionally, this term can be used for certain electronic forms, (such as electronically filed tax returns in certain states), where the taxpayer(s) attest to the truth of the information contained. In the case of an electronically filed tax return, the taxpayer has to provide certain specific information - his social security number for example - to "sign" the jurat. Having done this, the electronically submitted return is considered to have the same legal effect as if the taxpayer had actually and physically signed the return.

Channel Islands

Under the ancien régime in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, in several towns, of the south-west, such as La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

 and Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, the jurats were members of the municipal body. The title was also borne by officials, corresponding to aldermen
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

, in the Cinque Ports
Cinque Ports
The Confederation of Cinque Ports is a historic series of coastal towns in Kent and Sussex. It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. It lies at the eastern end of the English Channel, where the crossing to the continent is narrowest...

, but is now chiefly used as a title of office in the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...


There are two bodies, consisting each of twelve jurats, for the Bailiwick
A bailiwick is usually the area of jurisdiction of a bailiff, and may also apply to a territory in which the sheriff's functions were exercised by a privately appointed bailiff under a royal or imperial writ. The word is now more generally used in a metaphorical sense, to indicate a sphere of...

s of Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

 and of Guernsey
Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

 respectively. They form, with the Bailiff
Bailiff (Channel Islands)
The Bailiff is the chief justice in each of the Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, also serving as president of the legislature and having ceremonial and executive functions. Each bailiwick has possessed its own bailiff since the islands were divided into two jurisdictions in the...

 as presiding judge, the Royal Court in each Bailiwick. In Guernsey and Jersey, the Jurats, as lay people, are judges of fact rather than law, though they preside over land conveyances and liquor licencing. In Alderney, however, the Jurats are judges of both fact and law (assisted by their learned Clerk) in both civil and criminal matters.

Until the constitutional reforms introduced in the 1940s to separate legislature and judiciary, they were elected for life, in Jersey by islandwide suffrage, in Guernsey by the States of Election, and were a constituent part of the legislative bodies.

Although no longer a political post, the office of Jurat is still considered the highest elected position to which a citizen can aspire.

However, in Alderney, Jurats are appointed by the Crown, following a recommendation from the President of Alderney.


In Jersey, the power to raise excise duties was exercised by the Assembly of Governor, Bailiff and Jurats. These financial powers, along with the assets of the Assembly, were finally taken over by the States of Jersey
States of Jersey
The States of Jersey is the parliament and government of Jersey.The Assembly of the States of Jersey has exercised legislative powers since 1771, when law-making power was transferred from the Royal Court of Jersey....

 in 1921, thereby enabling the States to control the budget independently of the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
The Lieutenant Governor of Jersey is the representative of the British monarch in the Bailiwick of Jersey, a Crown dependency of the British Crown....

. In 1948 the jurats were replaced in the legislature by directly-elected senators.

Jurats now serve until retirement (at 72) as non-professional judges of fact (though not of law). They also determine sentences in criminal matters and assess damages in civil matters. There are twelve Jurats at any one time, who are indirectly elected by an electoral college
Electoral college
An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organizations or entities, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way...

 constituted of States Members and members of the legal profession. The robes of jurats are red with black trim.

The Royal Court sits either as the Inferior Number (judge and two jurats) or the Superior Number (judge and at least five jurats). Only the Superior Number can impose sentences of imprisonment of more than four years. The Superior Number also acts as a court of first appeal in respect of sentences handed down by the Inferior Number. Otherwise, Appeals from the Inferior Number and the Superior Number are heard by the Jersey Court of Appeal, in which jurats do not sit. Thereafter, any appeal would be heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

 sitting in London.

Jurats also sit on the Island's Licensing Assembly (which grants liquor licences) and customarily serve as autorisés
Returning Officer
In various parliamentary systems, a returning officer is responsible for overseeing elections in one or more constituencies.-Australia:In Australia a returning officer is an employee of the Australian Electoral Commission or a State Electoral Commission who heads the local divisional office...

to oversee polling at public elections and declare the results.

The Prison Board of Visitors, which is responsible for overseeing the care of prisoners in Jersey's prison system, comprises seven Jurats, who inspect the prison regularly and, whilst visiting, hear any prisoners' complaints. In 2009, a report raised concerns about potential conflicts of interests, and recommended that membership of the board should include independent members of the public.


In Guernsey, the Jurats are still elected by the States of Election, made up of the Island's judiciary, Law Officers and Anglican clergy.

The Royal Court of Guernsey sits either as the Ordinary Court (Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff and two jurats) or the Full Court (Bailiff or Deputy Bailiff and seven jurats).

The robes of jurats are purple (although the precise shade has varied).


The court of Alderney consists of six Jurats (appointed by the Crown) and a Chairman.

Brazilian Law

In Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, JURAT is the term used to indicate Board Administrative Tax Appeals in the city of Joinville. Is the administrative body responsible for the judgments of requests from citizens about all city taxes. It is a collegiate body with representatives of the city and taxpayers.
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