St Pierre du Bois Douzaine - 1928

Throughout the 20th century the Douzaines were still a fundamental part of the governance of the island but the rise of the directly elected Deputy was inevitable if long drawn out. The franchise (the right to vote and stand for election) was radically extended after the First World War in acknowledgement of the sacrifices made but it was not until 1939 that the voting age for men and women was equalised (at 20).
When the Douzaines aquired new functions they tended to be extensions of existing functions, inspecting streams as they once inspected roads, or they were advisory and included in clauses of the new laws regulating commerce. Exceptions to these trends were the States' decisions to have household refuse collections organized on a parochial basis and to give the Douzaines the right to issue Sunday Trading licences themselves.

Membership of States Committees -
As the States grew in power and income the number of States Committees burgeoned and the Douzaines provided a pool from which members could be elected. Douzeniers can no longer be elected by the Douzaine to sit on any States Committee but they can still be elected by the States to serve. However the introduction of States Departments in 2004 has reduced the likelihood of this occuring.

Ballots for States Elections -
The first Deputies were directly elected to the States of Deliberation in 1899 (nine of them on an island-wide basis) and the Douzaines, with the Constables, became and still are responsible for overseeing the electoral ballots.

Involvement in commercial licences -
As the States introduced legislation to licence various commercial activities, clauses were often included requiring the Douzaines, with the Constables, to prepare preliminary reports eg for salles publique, liquor sales, etc. or to give the Douzaines the right to be consulted before the issue of video licences, etc.

Inspecting watercourses -
Since the 1930s the Douzaines, with the Constables, have been required to appoint Streams Committees, by default themselves, to inspect and report to a Central Committee on the island’s watercourses.

Organising household refuse collection -
The introduction of a Douzaine-administered parochial household refuse collection system in 1958 gave the Douzaines an important new function and greatly increased cashflow.

Property management -
By mid-century the parishes had begun to aquire secular property other than cemeteries, eg redundant parish primary schools. The maintenance and administration of this property became a customary function of the Douzaines. The buildings provided the Douzaine with a permanent home for the first time and the parish with facilities (and a source of income to subsidise the rates).

The parishes had always had the right to raise taxes for ‘public improvements’ which did not fall into any of the more specific categories. With the advent of the Reserve Funds law this right was formally extended to include the purchase, construction and maintenance of parish properties other than the Church, the Rectory and the Cemeteries. The Douzaines therefore now have a wider remit to propose improvements and extensions to a parish’s public buildings and land.