Legislative Power: Distribution and Control

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:
Legislative Power: Distribution and Control

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In the Church of England, the development of law designed to enable and regulate the use of legislative power has been closely associated in recent years with the introduction of synodical government and with the process of democratisation. Within the structures of synodical government, the legal distribution and control of power in the exercise of the church's legislative ministry operate on all levels of ecclesiastical government. The church's central legal system does not however, provide one constitutional model alone for the creation of law. Several models are employed. These are most clearly defined at the higher and middle levels of church government where legislative power is enjoyed by the General Synod and by bodies many of whose principal functions are administrative. At the lower levels they are weakest, particularly in the diocese where there is little systematic provision for law-making. In contrast, the Roman Catholic Church canon law provides for a distribution of legislative powers at all levels of the church. In neither church is a judicial challenge to ecclesiastical legislation possible within the church.

Keywords: Church of England; Roman Catholic Church; General Synod; legislative power; synodical government; diocese; canon law; legal distribution; law-making

Chapter.  18754 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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