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The government of Alderney is a self-governing dependency of the Crown, but is not part of the United Kingdom, nor part of the European Union, but is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with a shared Lieutenant Governor.

The United Kingdom looks after Alderney in the fields of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Fisheries Protection and the islands' association with the European Union (EU). The States of Alderney (the legislature) consists of a President and ten States Members. The President chairs the meetings of the States and stands for election every four years. States Members also hold office for a period of four years and every two years there is an "ordinary" election in which five of the sitting members offer themselves for re-election. Thus continuity at all levels is maintained and represents a stable, experienced parliamentary body. In addition, Alderney has two seats with voting rights on the States of Guernsey monthly Deliberation meetings.

The administration supporting the work of the Government of Alderney is separated into legislative functions (managed by the Greffier) and executive functions (managed by the Chief Executive).

The States of Alderney has its own law-making powers apart from matters of law and order and some transferred services; it may also give its approval to laws passed by the States of Guernsey.  Primary legislation is sent to the UK via the Ministry of Justice for approval of the Privy Council, while secondary legislation may be approved locally.  Alderney has one single tier of Government and therefore the members who sit in the Executive also sit in the Legislature. The drafting of the laws is undertaken by the Law Officers of the Crown in Guernsey.