The Isle of Man is centrally located in the Irish Sea, between the north east of Ireland and the north west of England. It is a dependent territory of the British Crown and as such it is not (and has never been) part of the United Kingdom, although the Queen of England is acknowledged by the Island to be its Head of State. It is self governing and has its own Parliament, Tynwald, which is over 1,000 years old. Tynwald makes the Island's laws and oversees all of the Island's internal affairs.
As a result, the Isle of Man is politically and constitutionally independent of the United Kingdom. It is only the Island's foreign affairs and defence which are dealt with by the UK Government, and the Isle of Man pays an annual contribution towards this. The Island enjoys a balanced and stable economy along with low levels of taxation and unemployment. For more information on the Isle of Man Government, please visit the following link: http://www.gov.im/.
The Isle of Man is not a member or an associate member of the European Union. However, it does enjoy a special relationship with the EU as set out in Protocol 3 of the Act of Accession 1972 (a UK Act). As a result of Protocol 3, the Isle of Man comes within the customs territory of the EU, therefore it enjoys free movement of goods in trade between itself and the EU. The Isle of Man does not have to apply EU rules although it may choose to implement legislation based on EU laws.
A co-operative and transparent jurisdiction
The Isle of Man has been at the forefront of global tax co-operation and transparency for 20 years. We were part of the original OECD drafting group that created the model TIEA which is used throughout the world today. We were the first offshore jurisdiction to sign up willingly to US and UK FATCA and we are the only offshore jurisdiction top ranked as “Compliant” by the Global Forum and G20 for our effective standards of transparency and tax co-operation. This top ranking is higher than the rankings given to the US and the UK by the Global Forum.
The Isle of Man is a separate jurisdiction to the United Kingdom and as a result has its own legal system. The principles of the Manx legal system are based on English common law and the Island follows very closely the precedents set by the English Courts if there is no conclusive Manx precedent already established. However, Manx law has also developed to fit the Isle of Man's own needs and circumstances, particularly in relation to tax, company law and financial supervision issues. The main sources of Manx law are based on the Acts of Tynwald and their subsidiary legislation.
The Isle of Man's High Court judges are called Deemsters, who have jurisdiction over all criminal and civil matters on the Island. The first Deemster is the head of the Isle of Man judiciary. The Island also has its own Magistrates, whose roles are similar to their English counterparts. There is a local Court of Appeal called the Staff of Government Division. Since January 2015, Channel Islands Judges are eligible to sit as Appeal Judges in the Isle of Man, and Isle of Man Judges are eligible to sit as Appeal Judges in the Channel Islands. The final Court of Appeal is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.
The Isle of Man's legal profession is regulated by the Isle of Man Law Society. Legal professionals qualified in the Isle of Man are called Advocates. Advocates fulfil the roles of both Solicitors and Barristers in England and have exclusive rights of audience in the Manx Courts. It is possible for English Barristers to be granted a temporary licence to appear in Manx Courts but this will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. For more information on the Isle of Man's legal profession, please visit the following link: http://www.iomlawsociety.co.im.
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