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Sources of law of the Church of Ireland: Identification, investigation and reform

Colton, W. Paul 2013. Sources of law of the Church of Ireland: Identification, investigation and reform. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Since the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871 there has been negligible academic exploration and scrutiny of its laws. This enterprise seeks to advance scholarship of that law generally. As an initial contribution, the sources of law of the Church of Ireland, until now never the subject of singular study, are identified and investigated. Part One identifies the sources: in the law of the State; in the Church’s primary and secondary sources; and in tertiary sources (quasi-legislation and soft law), including putative sources – custom, the wider Anglican legal economy, and ecumenical input. In Part Two, case studies in each of the arenas – civil, primary and secondary, and tertiary – investigate three concerns. First, the increasing impact of civil law on church law is evaluated as a recent phenomenon. Second, the internal church sources are examined to assesstheir accessibility, a test fundamental to the Rule of Law. Third, the extensive materials of recent decades are scrutinised and demonstrate an ever-growing reliance on informal instruments – quasi-legislation and soft law – governing the life of the Church. A detailed survey of the opinions and knowledge of church members undertaken in 2011 tests and informs the analysis of the sources. Throughout the study, however, the principal reliance is on a formidable array of primary materials: a broad spectrum of State laws; contemporary ecclesiastical legal materials (national and local); a wide range of historical documents, including the original papers of the General Convention 1870, the Minutes of the Legal Committee, one-hundred and forty-four Journals of the General Synod, eight centuries of pre-disestablishment statutes, and one thousand and fifty-four statutes of the General Synod. This identification and investigation of the sources of law of the Church of Ireland highlights weaknesses and makes the case for reform. The conclusion sets out the proposals for reform.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
K Law > K Law (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:19

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