The Barclay brothers weren't successful in challenging Sark's jurisdiction over Brecqhou, but they did succeed in forcing scrutiny of the island's compliance with the human rights convention.
In pushing the island to democratize, officials in London have warned that failure to modernize on Sark's own terms could result in Sark losing some of its independence and being governed more directly by the larger island of Guernsey, an option no one here seems to want.
Moreover, many residents have become impatient with the domination of the landowners in decision making.
"The situation we have at the moment is we have about 40 people -- perhaps 27 or 28 of them turn up for meetings -- who have a seat in government simply because they own land," said Jan Guy, a former head teacher at the island's school who has lived here 19 years.
"Now, in some cases, their family has owned that land for many years, and several generations. But in many cases, that land has been bought quite recently. So if you came over and you bought a nice tenement, the next meeting of government, you'd be there, governing for the people of Sark. I ask you, do you think that's right?"