The Church and Forms of Regulation

Norman Doe

in The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682315 | DOI:
The Church and Forms of Regulation

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The legal framework of the Church of England subsists in formal legal texts created not only by the church's internal legislators but also by the state, and technical terms have been devised to classify these as canon law and ecclesiastical law. On the other hand, many regulatory instruments governing the church exist outside formal texts legislated by the church and state: these may be classified as ecclesiastical quasi-legislation. The Roman Catholic Church, which is not formally established in the same sense as the Church of England, is regulated similarly by internally made canon law and by rules legislated by the state. For both churches, the degree to which regulatory instruments are binding and enforceable depends on the status of the instrument in question. With respect to jurisprudence, the fundamental authority underlying internally made church law is conceived by both churches to be divine law. While for the Roman Catholic Church, canon law is defined as internal ecclesiastical regulation, for the Church of England there is no agreed, clear understanding of the terms ‘canon law’ and ‘ecclesiastical law’.

Keywords: Church of England; ecclesiastical regulation; canon law; ecclesiastical law; Roman Catholic Church; ecclesiastical quasi-legislation; jurisprudence; divine law

Chapter.  15197 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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