.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 32 : General Provisions Applicable to all Cases of Process

Paragraph 17 : Reasons for Disqualification

32-17. Pending the trial of a case, any member of the court who shall express his opinion of its merits to either party, or to any person not a member of the court; or who shall absent himself from any sitting without the permission of the court, or satisfactory reasons rendered, shall be thereby disqualified from taking part in the subsequent proceedings.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text remains unchanged from that of PCUS 1879.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 6-17, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 148
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-17, Proposed text, p. 45

3. PCUS 1933, VI-§209
4. PCUS 1925, VI-§209
5. PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, VI-17
Pending the trial of a case, any member of the court who shall express his opinion of its merits to either party, or to any person not a member of the court; or who shall absent himself from any sitting without the permission of the court, or satisfactory reasons rendered, shall be thereby disqualified from taking part in the subsequent proceedings.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-17
and
PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-17
Pending the trial of a cause, any judge who shall express his opinion of its merits to either party, or to any person not a member of the court; or who shall absent himself from any sitting without the permission of the court, or satisfactory reason rendered, shall be thereby disqualified from taking part in the subsequent proceedings.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 205), on RoD, VI-17:

188.--XVII. Pending the trial of a case, any member of the court who shall express his opinion of its merits to either party, or to any person not a member of the court; or who shall absent himself from any sitting without the permission of the court, or satisfactory reasons rendered, shall be thereby disqualified from taking part in the subsequent proceedings.
A judge should hold his mind open to evidence and argument until he has heard all, and he needs to be present so as to hear all. The court should not excuse absence for light reasons, nor without giving the parties opportunity to state their objections (185). Of course, this paragraph does not forbid expression of opinion as provided for in 186:5.



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
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]