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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 11 :

32-11. In every process, if deemed expedient there may be a committee appointed, which shall be called the Judicial Committee, and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe, under the direction of the court, the whole order of the proceedings. The members of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text dates to PCA 1973 and the Proposed BCO (1973). The only difference between these editions and PCUS 1925 is the latter's use of a comma after the word "expedient".]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
PCA 1973, RoD, 6-11, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 147
and
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-11, Proposed text, p. 44
In every process, if deemed expedient there may be a committee appointed, which shall be called the Judicial Committee, and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe, under the direction of the court, the whole order of the proceedings. The members of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.

PCUS 1933, VI-§203
PCUS 1925, VI-§203
PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, VI-11
In every process, if deemed expedient, there may be a committee appointed, which shall be called the Judicial Committee, and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe, under the direction of the court, the whole order of the proceedings. The me
mbers of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-11
In all process, it is expedient that there be a committee ap-pointed, (provided the court be sufficiently numerous to admit of it without inconvenience,) who shall be called “the Judicial Committee,” and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe under the direction of the court the whole order of the proceedings. The members of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-11
In all process, it is expedient that there be a committee appointed, (provided the court be sufficiently numerous to admit of it without inconvenience), who shall be called “the judicial committee,” and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe under the direction of the court the whole order of the proceedings. The members of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 199), on Rules of Discipline, VI-11:

182.--XI. In every process, if deemed expedient, there may be a committee appointed, which shall be called the Judicial Committee, and whose duty it shall be to digest and arrange all the papers, and to prescribe, under the direction of the court, the whole order of the proceedings. The members of this committee shall be entitled, notwithstanding their performance of this duty, to sit and vote in the case as members of the court.
Every court before which the case comes may have such a committee. This committee has nothing to do with the merits of the case whatever. The court may give directions beforehand to this committee as to the order of proceedings, and must approve its recommendations before they become in force. It is not by this paragraph made the business of this committee to recommend whether there shall be a process, but merely to formulate in detail the order of proceedings. But any question that may properly be decided previous to the commencement of process, or any question pertaining to a case in any sense judicial, may be referred to a committee for consideration and report ; and such a committee may be called a Judicial Committee.



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