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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 32 : General Provisions Applicable to all Cases of Process

Paragraph 5 :

32-5. In drawing the indictment, the times, places and circumstances should, if possible, be particularly stated, that the accused may have an opportunity to make his defense.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text remains unchanged from that of PCUS 1879, with the one exception of the removal of a comma after "places". The draft editions of 1867 and 1869 were identical to the PCUSA 1858 draft, but in the first approved PCUS edition of 1879, a more succinct "opportunity to make his defence" was chosen over the more verbose text of the draft editions.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 6-5, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 147
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-5, Proposed text, p. 43
3. PCUS 1933, VI-§197
4. PCUS 1925, VI-§197
5. PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, VI-5

In drawing the indictment, the times, places, and circumstances should, if possible, be particularly stated, that the accused may have an opportunity to make his defence.

1. PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-5
2. PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-5
3. PCUSA 1858, Revised Book of Discipline, Chapter IV - Actual Process, paragraph 3
In exhibiting charges, the times, places and circumstances should, if possible, be particularly stated, that the accused may have an opportunity to prove an alibi , or to extenuate or alleviate his offence.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 197), on Rules of Discipline, VI-5:

176.--V. In drawing the indictment, the times, places, and circumstances should, if possible, be particularly stated, that the accused may have an opportunity to make his defence.
The court may make inquisition before the commencement of process, but not afterward, and therefore, the indictment may not be used as an instrument of inquisition ; and it must be so drawn as to give an innocent party every opportunity of proving his innocence, as well as of preventing his conviction.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
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3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]