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Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963

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Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Measure into force:

Part VE Conduct of Proceedings against Bishops for Offences under the Measure not involving Matter of Doctrine, Ritual or Ceremonial

Scope of Part VE

32 Scope of Part V.E

The provisions of this Part of this Measure shall have effect for the purpose of regulating proceedings against an archbishop or a bishop against whom a complaint has been laid in accordance with the provisions of Part III of this Measure alleging the commission of an offence other than an offence involving matter of doctrine, ritual or ceremonial.

Procedure under Part V after Laying of ComplaintE

33 Inquiry into complaint by episcopal committee.E

(1)Where a complaint under Part III of this Measure of the nature specified in the foregoing section is duly laid and verified, the following provisions of this section shall have effect.

(2)The complaint shall stand referred to a committee whose duty it shall be to inquire into the complaint for the purpose of deciding whether there is a case to answer in respect of which the accused should be put on trial upon articles, by a commission appointed under the following provisions of this Part of this Measure, for any offence under this Measure which does not involve matter of doctrine, ritual or ceremonial.

(3)The committee shall consist

(a)in the case of an archbishop, of the three senior comprovincial diocesan bishops of the relevant province, not being a bishop who laid, or was one of the bishops who laid, the complaint; and

(b)in the case of any other bishop, shall consist of the archbishop of the relevant province and two diocesan bishops of that province appointed by such archbishop (not being any bishop who laid, or who was one of several persons who laid, the complaint or the accused, if he is a diocesan);

and the determination of any matter before the committee shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the members thereof.

(4)The committee shall summon to their assistance a [F1person who has a 10 year general qualification, within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990,] or a person who has held high judicial office to sit with them and act as their assessor in matters of law and, before summoning such a person, the committee shall satisfy themselves that he is a communicant.

(5)Either the accused or the complainant may, if he so desires, be assisted or represented by a friend or adviser at any meeting of such a committee at which he is invited to be present.

(6)The complainant and the accused may lay before the committee such evidence as they shall think fit, and such evidence shall be given by affidavit, but the committee shall on the application of either party and may on its own motion request the person making such affidavit to attend the inquiry for the purpose of answering such questions on oath as may be put to him by the committee or by or on behalf of any party, and unless such person shall attend the inquiry for that purpose his affidavit shall be disregarded:

Provided that the evidence of any person who is incapable of giving evidence on oath shall be given orally at the inquiry.

(7)If the committee, after making due inquiry into the complaint, decide that there is a case to answer in respect of which the accused should be put on trial for any such offence as aforesaid, by a commission appointed under the following provisions of this Part of this Measure, they shall declare their decision, specifying the offence, and shall nominate a fit person to promote the complaint against the accused before the commission appointed under the provisions of section thirty-five of this Measure.

(8)If the committee, after making due inquiry into the complaint, decide that there is no case for the accused to answer, they shall declare their decision and thereafter no further step shall be taken in regard thereto.

(9)The committee shall reduce their decision to writing and shall send a copy thereof to the accused and (a) in the case of an archbishop, to the archbishop who is not accused, and (b) in the case of any other bishop, to the Upper House of the Convocation of the relevant province.

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Amendments (Textual)

34 Contents of articles.E

Where a complaint is laid against a person by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Measure, the articles may with the leave of the committee which inquired into the complaint or of the commission appointed under the provisions of the next succeeding section include, either in substitution for or in addition to, particulars of the offence or offences specified by that committee, particulars of any offence founded on evidence disclosed in the course of the committee’s inquiry, not being particulars of an offence involving matter of doctrine, ritual or ceremonial.

35 Appointment of commission of convocation.E

Where a committee inquiring into a complaint declare, in pursuance of subsection (7) of section thirty-three of this Measure, their decision that there is sufficient evidence to put the accused on trial—

(a)in the case of an archbishop, the Upper Houses of the Convocations of both provinces shall hold a meeting summoned by the archbishop who is not accused to meet under his chairmanship, and the meeting shall appoint a commission consisting of the Dean of the Arches and Auditor, and four diocesan bishops chosen by the joint meeting of the two Upper Houses from amongst the diocesan bishops of both provinces, not being a bishop who laid, or was one of the bishops who laid, the complaint, or a member of the committee appointed under subsection (3) of section thirty-three of this Measure;

(b)in the case of a bishop the Upper House of Convocation of the relevant province shall appoint a commission consisting of the Dean of the Arches and Auditor and four of their members to try the accused not being a bishop who laid, or was one of the bishops who laid, the complaint or a member of the Committee appointed under subsection (3) of section thirty-three of this Measure.

36 Conduct of trial by commission of convocation.E

The following provisions shall have effect with respect to the trial of a person by a commission appointed under this Part of this Measure, namely:—

(a)the Dean of the Arches and Auditor shall preside over the commission;

(b)the procedure at the trial shall, so far as circumstances admit, and subject to any rules which may be prescribed, be the same as at the trial of a person by a court of assize exercising criminal jurisdiction;

(c)the accused shall be entitled to be supplied with a copy of the articles;

(d)the rules as to the admissibility of evidence and as to whether a witness is competent and compellable to give evidence shall be the same as those observed at the trial of a person by such court of assize;

(e)the registrar of the relevant province shall give not less than fourteen clear days’ notice of the sittings of the commission to the person promoting the complaint and the accused and at any sitting the commission may proceed in the absence of the accused if they are satisfied that he was given adequate notice of the sitting;

(f)the commission, if satisfied that it is in the interests of justice so to do, may give directions that during any part of the proceedings such persons or classes of persons as the commission may determine shall be excluded;

(g)the determination of any matter before the commission shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the members thereof;

(h)the commission shall reduce their finding to writing, shall publish it to the accused and to such other persons as they think ought to have notice of it and shall send a copy of it in the case of an accused archbishop, to the archbishop of the other province, and in the case of any other bishop, to the archbishop of the relevant province.

37 Proceedings in Upper House of Convocation upon finding of commission of convocation.E

(1)In the case of an archbishop upon receipt by the archbishop who is not accused of a copy of the finding sent to him under paragraph (h) of the last foregoing section he shall lay it before a joint meeting of the Upper Houses of the Convocations of both provinces; and where the finding is one of guilt it shall be the duty of the joint meeting to resolve that the accused be censured in accordance with the following provisions of this Measure, and in such a case the censure shall be pronounced by the archbiship of the other province.

(2)In the case of any other bishop upon the receipt of a copy of a finding by the archbishop of the relevant province he shall lay it before the Upper House of Convocation of that province; and where the finding is one of guilt it shall be the duty of that House to resolve that the accused be censured in accordance with the following provisions of this Measure, and in such a case the censure shall be pronounced by the archbishop of the relevant province.

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