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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 16 : On the Right of Challenge

32-16. Either party may, for cause, challenge the right of any member to sit in the trial of the case, which question shall be decided by the other members of the court.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text was changed from that of PCA 1973 in _____, the final clause being shortened but still speaking to the same effect. The provision afforded by this paragraph was not part of the PCUS drafts of 1867 and 1869.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 6-16, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 148
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-16, Proposed text, p. 45
3. PCUS 1933, VI-§208
4. PCUS 1925, VI-§208
Either party may, for cause, challenge the right of any member to sit in the trial of the case, which question shall be decided by the members of the court other than the one challenged.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, VI-16

Either party may, for cause, challenge the right of any member to sit in the trial of the case, which question shall be decided by the members of the court, other than the one challenged.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-17
and

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-17
[no comparable text]

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 205), on RoD, VI-16:

187.--XVI. Either party may, for cause, challenge the right of any member to sit in the trial of the case, which question shall be decided by the members of the court, other than the one challenged.
Only one member can be challenged at a time, for otherwise a party could sift the court to suit himself. The right of the challenged member to sit must be determined before anything else is done in the trial. No challenge of a member's right to sit should be entertained after the reading of the indictment to the accused, unless for cause not known before that time to the challenging party.



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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]