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Clergy Discipline Measure 2003

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Disciplinary proceedings concerning matters not involving doctrine, ritual or ceremonialE

7ApplicationE

(1)The following provisions of this Measure shall have effect for the purpose of regulating proceedings against a clerk in Holy Orders who is alleged to have committed an act or omission other than one relating to matters involving doctrine, ritual or ceremonial, and references to misconduct shall be construed accordingly.

(2)Proceedings in relation to matters involving doctrine, ritual or ceremonial shall continue to be conducted in accordance with the 1963 Measure.

Commencement Information

I1S. 7 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

8MisconductE

(1)Disciplinary proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against any archbishop, bishop, priest or deacon alleging any of the following acts or omissions—

(a)doing any act in contravention of the laws ecclesiastical;

[F1(aa)failing to comply with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (duty to have due regard to House of Bishops' guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults);]

(b)failing to do any [F2other] act required by the laws ecclesiastical;

(c)neglect or inefficiency in the performance of the duties of his office;

(d)conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders.

(2)In the case of a minister licensed to serve in a diocese by the bishop thereof, the licence shall not be terminated by reason of that person’s misconduct otherwise than by way of such proceedings.

(3)[F3Subject to subsection (4) below,] No proceedings in respect of unbecoming [F3or inappropriate] conduct shall be taken in respect of the lawful political opinions or activities of any [F3archbishop,] bishop, priest or deacon.

[F4(4)Notwithstanding subsection (3) above, it shall be unbecoming or inappropriate conduct for any archbishop, bishop, priest or deacon to be a member of, or to promote, or express or solicit support for, a political party or other organisation whose constitution, policies, objectives, activities or public statements are declared in writing by the House of Bishops to be incompatible with the teaching of the Church of England in relation to the equality of persons or groups of different races.

(5)It shall be the duty of the House of Bishops to take appropriate steps to publish any declaration made under subsection (4) above.

(6)Without prejudice to subsection (5) above, the House of Bishops shall lay any declaration made under subsection (4) above before the General Synod and, if 25 or more members of the Synod give notice in accordance with its Standing Orders that they wish the declaration to be debated, it shall come into force on the date on which the declaration is approved by the General Synod.

(7)Any declaration made under subsection (4) above which is not debated by the General Synod in accordance with subsection (6) above shall come into force at the expiry of the period required by the Standing Orders for the giving of the notice under subsection (6).

(8)Any declaration made under subsection (4) above may be revoked by a resolution of the House of Bishops and subsections (5), (6) and (7) above shall apply to any such resolution as they apply to a declaration under subsection (4).

(9)Any declaration made by the House of Bishops under subsection (4) above shall require the assent of a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting.

(10)In subsection (4) above “races” shall be construed in accordance with section 9 of the Equality Act 2010.]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I2S. 8 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

9Limitation of time for institution of proceedingsE

[F5(1)] No disciplinary proceedings under this Measure shall be instituted unless the misconduct in question, or the last instance of it in the case of a series of acts or omissions, occurred within the period of one year ending with the date on which proceedings are instituted:

Provided that, when the misconduct is one for which the person concerned has been convicted either on indictment or summarily, proceedings may be instituted within twelve months of the conviction becoming conclusive, notwithstanding that the aforesaid period of one year has elapsed:

And provided further that the president of tribunals may, if he considers that there was good reason why the complainant did not institute proceedings at an earlier date, after consultation with the complainant and the respondent, give his written permission for the proceedings to be instituted after the expiry of the said period of one year.

[F6(2)Subsection (1) does not apply where the misconduct in question is conduct of a sexual nature towards a child.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply where the misconduct in question is conduct of a sexual nature towards an adult if the president of tribunals considers that the adult was a vulnerable adult at the time of the conduct, having taken into account such representations as the complainant and respondent each make on the issue of vulnerability.

(4)Where, in a case within subsection (3), the president of tribunals does not consider that the adult was a vulnerable adult at the time of the conduct in question, the president may at the same time decide whether nonetheless to give permission under subsection (1) for the proceedings to continue; and for that purpose, the second proviso to subsection (1) has effect as if for “to be instituted” there were substituted “ to continue despite having been instituted ”.]

Textual Amendments

F5S. 9(1): s. 9 renumbered as s. 9(1) (1.1.2017) by Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (No. 1), ss. 7(1), 12(3) (with s. 7(2)); S.I. 2016/1213, art. 2

Commencement Information

I3S. 9 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

10Institution of proceedingsE

(1)Disciplinary proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of a disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General’s court by virtue of section 6 above, by way of complaint made in writing, only as follows—

(a)in the case of a priest or deacon, by—

(i)a person nominated by the parochial church council of any parish which has a proper interest in making the complaint, if not less than two-thirds of the lay members of the council are present at a duly convened meeting of the council and not less than two-thirds of the lay members present and voting pass a resolution to the effect that the proceedings be instituted; or

(ii)a churchwarden of any such parish; or

(iii)any other person who has a proper interest in making the complaint;

(b)in the case of a bishop, by—

(i)a person nominated by the bishop’s council of the diocese concerned, if not less than two-thirds of the members of the council are present at a duly convened meeting of the council and not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting pass a resolution to the effect that the proceedings be instituted; or

(ii)any other person who has a proper interest in making the complaint;

(c)in the case of an archbishop by—

(i)a person nominated by the archbishop’s council of his diocese if not less than two-thirds of the members of the council are present at a duly convened meeting of the council and not less than two thirds of the members present and voting pass a resolution to the effect that the proceedings be instituted; or

(ii)any other person who has a proper interest in making the complaint.

(2)A complaint under this section shall be laid—

(a)in the case of a priest or deacon, before the diocesan bishop concerned,

(b)in the case of a bishop, before the archbishop concerned,

(c)in the case of an archbishop, before the other archbishop,

and references in the following provisions of this Measure to the bishop by whom a complaint is received shall, in the case of proceedings against a bishop or archbishop, be construed as references to the archbishop or other archbishop respectively.

(3)A complaint made under this section shall be accompanied by written particulars of the alleged misconduct, and written evidence in support of the complaint shall be sent to the bishop or archbishop, as the case may be, either with the complaint or at such later time as he may allow.

Commencement Information

I4S. 10 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

11Preliminary scrutiny of complaintE

(1)When a complaint in writing has been made in accordance with section 10 above it shall be referred in the first instance to the registrar of the diocese or province concerned, as the case may be, who shall thereupon scrutinise the complaint in consultation with the complainant with a view to—

(a)forming a view as to whether or not the parochial church council or other person making the complaint has a proper interest in doing so or, if the complainant purports to be a churchwarden, establishing that he is such, and

(b)forming a view as to whether or not there is sufficient substance in the complaint to justify proceeding with it in accordance with the following provisions of this Measure,

and the registrar shall notify the respondent that the complaint has been referred to him.

(2)Having scrutinised the complaint the registrar shall, within the period of twenty-eight days following its receipt by him or such longer period as he considers to be justified in the particular circumstances of the case, send a written report to the bishop by whom the complaint was received setting out the registrar’s views and thereupon the bishop shall deal with the complaint in accordance with the following provisions of this Measure, having regard to the registrar’s report:

Provided that the period of twenty-eight days referred to above shall not be extended as aforesaid more than once.

(3)On receipt of the registrar’s report the bishop may dismiss the complaint and, if he does so, he shall give written notice of the dismissal to the complainant and the respondent, together with a copy of the report.

(4)On receipt of a notice of dismissal the complainant may request the president of tribunals to review the dismissal, and the president may then uphold the dismissal or, if he considers the dismissal to be plainly wrong,[F7he may—

(a)]reverse it and direct the bishop to deal with the complaint in accordance with section 12 below[F8, or

(b)remit the complaint to the bishop and direct the bishop to reconsider the dismissal].

[F9(4A)On a reconsideration following a direction under subsection (4)(b), the bishop may nonetheless exercise the power under subsection (3) and, if the bishop does so, must give notice in accordance with that subsection; and subsection (4) and this subsection apply accordingly.]

(5)Where the registrar proposes to extend the period of twenty-eight days referred to in subsection (2) above, he shall, before doing so, consult the complainant and the respondent.

(6)The registrar may delegate any or all of his functions under this section to such person as he may designate.

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I5S. 11 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

12Courses available to bishopE

(1)If the complaint is not dismissed under section 11(3) above the bishop shall, within the period of twenty-eight days following the receipt by him of the registrar’s report under section 11(2) above or the president of tribunal’s direction under section 11(4), as the case may be, or such longer period as he considers to be justified in the particular circumstances of the case, determine which of the following courses is to be pursued—

(a)he may take no further action, in which case the provisions of section 13 below apply; or

(b)he may, if the respondent consents, direct that the matter remain on the record conditionally, in which case the provisions of section 14 below apply; or

(c)he may direct that an attempt to bring about conciliation in accordance with section 15 below is to be made; or

(d)he may impose a penalty by consent in accordance with section 16 below; or

(e)he may direct that the complaint is to be formally investigated in accordance with section 17 below.

(2)Where the bishop proposes to extend the period of twenty-eight days referred to in subsection (1) above he shall, before doing so, consult the complainant and the respondent.

Commencement Information

I6S. 12 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

13No further actionE

(1)Where the bishop determines that there is to be no further action the following provisions of this section shall apply.

(2)The bishop shall reduce his determination to writing and shall give a copy of it to the complainant and the respondent.

(3)The complainant may refer the complaint to the president of tribunals and, if the president considers that the bishop’s determination was plainly wrong, he may[F10

(a)]direct the bishop to pursue such of the courses specified in section 12(1)(b) to (e) above as he considers appropriate, in which case the bishop shall proceed accordingly[F11, or

(b)remit the complaint to the bishop and direct the bishop to reconsider the determination that there is to be no further action].

[F12(4)On a reconsideration following a direction under subsection (3)(b), the bishop may nonetheless decide under section 12(1)(a) to take no further action; and, if the bishop does so, this section applies accordingly.]

Textual Amendments

Commencement Information

I7S. 13 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

14Conditional defermentE

(1)Where the bishop, with the consent of the respondent, determines that the matter is to be recorded conditionally the following provisions of this section shall apply.

(2)The complaint and the bishop’s determination shall be notified to the archbishop concerned and remain on a record maintained by the diocesan registrar concerned for such period not exceeding five years as the bishop may determine and, subject to subsection (3) below, no further action shall be taken.

(3)Notwithstanding the provisions of section 9 above, if another complaint is made under section 10 above against the respondent and that complaint is dealt with under paragraph (c), (d) or (e) of section 12(1) above, the recorded complaint may be dealt with under any of those paragraphs together with the other complaint.

(4)The bishop shall reduce his determination to writing and give a copy of it to the complainant and the respondent. He shall also supply them with a statement explaining the effect of subsections (2) and (3) above.

Commencement Information

I8S. 14 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

15ConciliationE

(1)Where the bishop determines that an attempt to bring about conciliation is to be made he shall afford the complainant and the respondent an opportunity to make representations and, if both of them agree to the appointment of a conciliator, an appointment shall be made under subsection (2) below.

(2)The appointment of a conciliator shall be by the bishop with the agreement of the complainant and the respondent.

(3)The bishop shall not appoint any person to be a conciliator unless he is satisfied that there is no reason to question the impartiality of that person.

(4)A conciliator appointed under this section shall use his best endeavours to bring about a conciliation between the complainant and the respondent and—

(a)if, within the period of three months following his appointment or such further period as he may, with the agreement of the complainant and the respondent, allow a conciliation is brought about, he shall submit a report on the case to the bishop, together with such recommendations as he may wish to make;

(b)if a conciliation is not brought about but the complainant and the respondent agree that another conciliator should be appointed, the bishop may appoint that other person as the conciliator for the purposes of this section;

(c)if a conciliation is not brought about and the complainant and the respondent do not agree as aforesaid, he shall refer the matter back to the bishop.

(5)If—

(a)the complainant and the respondent do not agree to the appointment of a conciliator or as to the person to be appointed, or

(b)the matter is referred back to the bishop by the conciliator under subsection (4)(c) above,

the bishop shall proceed to deal with the complaint under paragraph (a), (b), (d) or (e) of section 12(1) above.

Commencement Information

I9S. 15 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

16Penalty by consentE

(1)Where the bishop considers that the imposition of a penalty by consent might be appropriate, he shall afford the complainant and the respondent an opportunity to make representations and, if the respondent consents to the imposition of a penalty under this section and he and the bishop agree as to the penalty, the bishop shall, subject to subsection (2) below, proceed accordingly and thereafter no further step shall be taken in regard thereto.

(2)Where it is agreed that prohibition for life or resignation is the appropriate course the respondent or the bishop may, within the period of seven days following the date of the agreement, withdraw his agreement and the prohibition or resignation shall not be implemented in pursuance of this section.

(3)If the consent of the respondent to the imposition of a penalty under this section is not obtained or he and the bishop are unable to reach agreement as to the nature of the penalty, the bishop shall proceed to deal with the complaint under paragraph (e) of section 12(1) above.

[F13(3A)At any time after the bishop has directed, under section 12(1)(e) above, that the complaint be formally investigated in accordance with section 17 below or after the president of tribunals has referred the complaint to a disciplinary tribunal, the bishop and the respondent may, if the respondent admits the misconduct which is the subject of the complaint, agree to the imposition of a penalty under this section and the bishop shall, subject to subsection (2) above, proceed accordingly and thereafter no further step shall be taken in regard thereto.]

(4)The bishop shall notify the complainant of any action taken in pursuance of this section and shall also notify the archbishop of the province concerned and the registrar of the diocese concerned of any penalty agreed in pursuance of subsection (1) above.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I10S. 16 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

17Formal investigationE

(1)Where the bishop directs that the complaint is to be formally investigated, he shall refer the matter to the designated officer and it shall then be the duty of that officer to cause inquiries to be made into the complaint.

(2)After due inquiries have been made into the complaint the designated officer shall refer the matter to the president of tribunals for the purpose of deciding whether there is a case to answer in respect of which a disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General’s court, as the case may be, should be requested to adjudicate.

(3)If the president of tribunals decides that there is a case for the respondent to answer he shall declare that as his decision and refer the complaint to a disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General’s court, as the case may be, for adjudication.

(4)If the president of tribunals decides that there is no case for the respondent to answer he shall declare his decision, and thereafter no further steps shall be taken in regard thereto.

(5)The president of tribunals shall reduce his decision to writing and shall give a copy of it to the complainant, the respondent, the bishop and the designated officer.

Commencement Information

I11S. 17 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

18Conduct of proceedingsE

(1)In disciplinary proceedings under this Measure it shall be the duty of the designated officer or a person duly authorised by him to conduct the case for the complainant.

(2)In any such proceedings the president of tribunals may direct—

(a)that the complaint is to be withdrawn, whereupon no further action shall be taken in the proceedings; or

(b)that an attempt or further attempt to bring about conciliation is to be made, whereupon the provisions of section 15 above shall apply.

(3)In any such proceedings—

(a)the standard of proof to be applied by the tribunal or court shall be the same as in proceedings in the High Court exercising civil jurisdiction;

(b)the determination of any matter before the tribunal or court shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the members thereof and shall be pronounced in public together with its reasons therefor;

(c)the hearing shall be in private, except that the tribunal or court, if satisfied that it is in the interests of justice so to do or the respondent so requests, shall direct that the hearing shall be in public in which case the tribunal or court may, during any part of the proceedings, exclude such person or persons as it may determine.

Commencement Information

I12S. 18 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

19Imposition of penaltyE

(1)Upon a finding by a disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General’s court in disciplinary proceedings that the respondent committed the misconduct complained of, the tribunal or court may—

(a)impose on the respondent any one or more of the penalties mentioned in section 24 below; or

(b)defer consideration of the penalty, and for that purpose may adjourn the proceedings; or

(c)impose no penalty.

(2)Before imposing a penalty the disciplinary tribunal or court may invite—

(a)in the case of a disciplinary tribunal, the bishop of the diocese concerned, or

(b)in the case of the Vicar-General’s court, the archbishop concerned or, if the respondent is an archbishop, the other archbishop,

to express in writing his views as to the appropriate penalty and the tribunal or court shall have regard to any such views in imposing the penalty, if any and the views of the bishop or archbishop, as the case may be, shall be conveyed in writing to the respondent:

Provided that, if the bishop or archbishop has given evidence in the proceedings, he shall not be consulted.

(3)In this section any reference to a penalty includes a reference to an order for conditional discharge under section 25 below.

Commencement Information

I13S. 19 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

20Right of appealE

(1)[F14Subject to the following provisions of this section,] In disciplinary proceedings under this Measure—

(a)the respondent may appeal against any penalty imposed on him, and

(b)the respondent on a question of law or fact, and the designated officer, on a question of law, may appeal against any finding of the disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General’s court,

to the Arches Court of Canterbury (where the proceedings take place in the province of Canterbury) or the Chancery Court of York (where the proceedings take place in the province of York).

[F15(1A)An appeal by the respondent or the designated officer may only be brought with the leave of the disciplinary tribunal or the Vicar-General's court, as the case may be, or the appeal court.

(1B)Any application for leave of the appeal court under subsection (1A)—

(a)shall be heard jointly by the Dean of the Arches and Auditor and one judge appointed by the president of tribunals for the purpose of those proceedings from among the persons serving on the provincial panel of the relevant province, who shall be a lay person in the case of an application by the respondent and a person in Holy Orders in the case of an application by the designated officer;

(b)may, if the Dean of the Arches and Auditor so directs, be determined without a hearing; and

(c)shall be granted if at least one of the judges considers either that the appeal would have a real prospect of success or that there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.

(1C)If the disciplinary tribunal or the court grants the application for leave, it may direct that the issues to be heard on the appeal be limited in such way as the tribunal or the court may specify.]

[F16(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, proceedings on an appeal under subsection (1) above shall be heard and disposed of by the Dean of the Arches and Auditor sitting with two persons in Holy Orders and two lay persons appointed by the president of tribunals for the purpose of those proceedings from among the persons nominated to serve on the provincial panel of the relevant province otherwise than by the bishop of the diocese concerned.

(3)In the case of an appeal from a decision of the Vicar-General's court—

(a)one of the persons in Holy Orders shall be in Episcopal Orders, whether or not that person has been nominated to serve on the provincial panel mentioned in subsection (2) above, and

(b)where the appeal is by an archbishop, subsection (2) shall have effect as if the reference to persons nominated to serve on the provincial panel otherwise than by the bishop of the diocese concerned were a reference to persons (other than the person in Episcopal Orders) nominated to serve on the provincial panel of the other province.

(4)Before the president of tribunals appoints a person to sit as a judge for the purpose of proceedings on an appeal under subsection (1) or on an application for leave to appeal under subsection (1A) above he shall satisfy himself that there is no reason to question the impartiality of that person.

(5)Before appointing a person to sit as a judge for the purpose of proceedings on an appeal under subsection (1) or on an application for leave to appeal under subsection (1A) above the president of tribunals shall afford an opportunity to the respondent to make representations as to the suitability of that person to be appointed.]

Textual Amendments

F16S. 20(2)-(5) substituted for s. 20(2) (1.2.2014) by Clergy Discipline (Amendment) Measure 2013 (No. 2), ss. 3(4), 10(2) (with s. 3(6)); 2014 No. 1, art. 2

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I14S. 20 in force at 1.1.2006 by S.I. 2005/6, Instrument made by Archbishops

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