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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 40 : General Review and Control

Paragraph 3 :

40-3. It is ordinarily sufficient for the higher court merely to record in its own minutes and in the records reviewed whether it approves, disapproves or corrects the records in any particular; but should any serious irregularity be discovered the higher court may require its review and correction by the
lower. Proceedings in judicial cases, however, shall not be dealt with under review and control when notice of appeal or complaint has been given the lower court; and no judgment of a lower court in a judicial case shall be reversed except by appeal or complaint.


[Historical Summary : The wording of this paragraph dates to the PCUS revision enacted in 1925. The printed Minutes of General Assembly (1973) should probably be understood as exhibiting a typographical error with the insertion of the word "so" at the beginning of the first sentence.]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, RoD, 14-3, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 152
It is so ordinarily sufficient for the higher court merely to record in its own minutes and in the records reviewed, whether it approves, disapproves, or corrects the records in any particular; but should any serious irregularity be discovered the higher court may require its review and correction by the lower. Proceedings in judicial cases, however, shall not be dealt with under review and control when notice of appeal or complaint has been given the lower court; and no judgment of a lower court in a judicial case shall be reversed except by appeal or complaint.

1. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 14-3, Proposed text, p. 55-56
2. PCUS 1933, XIII-§262
3. PCUS 1925, XIII-§262

It is ordinarily sufficient for the higher court merely to record in its own minutes and in the records reviewed, whether it approves, disapproves, or corrects the records in any particular; but should any serious irregularity be discovered the higher court may require its review and correction by the lower. Proceedings in judicial cases, however, shall not be dealt with under review and control when notice of appeal or complaint has been given the lower court; and no judgment of a lower court in a judicial case shall be reversed except by appeal or complaint.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XIII-1-3

In most cases the superior court may be considered as fulfilling its duty by simply recording on its own minutes the approval, the correction of proceedings, or the censure which it may think proper to pass on the records under review; and also by making an entry of the same in the book reviewed. But should any irregular proceedings be found such as demand the interference of the superior court, the inferior court may be required to review and correct them.


PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-1-3
and
PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-1-3
In most cases the superior court may be considered as fulfilling its duty, by simply recording on its own minutes the animadversion,
the correction of proceedings, or the censure which it may think proper to pass on the records under review; and also by making an entry of the same in the book reviewed. But it may be that, in the course of review, cases of irregular proceedings may be found so disreputable and injurious as to demand the interference of the superior court. In cases of this kind, the inferior court may be required
to review and correct its proceedings.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. ), on :
242.--III. In most cases the superior court may be considered as fulfilling its duty by simply recording on its own minutes the approval, the correction of proceedings, or the censure which it may think proper to pass on the records under review; and also by making an entry of the same in the book reviewed. But should any irregular proceedings be found such as demand the interference of the superior court, the inferior court may be required to review and correct them.
The action of an inferior court that is constitution, however unwise, the inferior court cannot be required to review and correct, unless such action is brought before the superior court in some other way than by general review and control ; but the superior court may record its disapproval. Disobedience to lawful injunctions of higher courts is irregular or unconstitutional.



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