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Constitutional Interpretation

Advisory Opinions


Standing Rule G.2.e provides that the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly shall "give advisory opinions concerning the meaning of the provisions of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)." Through Advisory Opinions (AOs) the Stated Clerk offers a well-researched opinion and careful analysis on a provision or interpretation of the Constitution that is not clearly defined in the church’s life. It should be noted that Advisory Opinions are just that, opinions, and they are neither authoritative nor binding upon the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

(2) Comments

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  1. Thank you for your comment regarding the work of an Investigating Committee during a disciplinary process. If the decision of an IC not to file charges is challenged by the individual who filed the original allegations, two members of the Permanent Judicial Commission are appointed to review the work of the Investigating Committee and will report that review to the Council of membership. They may report that the Investigating Committee did its constitutionally required investigation and thus its decision to not file charges is upheld, or they may report that the Investigating Committee did not complete its constitutionally required investigatio and thus the Council is required to appoint a new Investigating Committee. As is normative throughout the PCUSA constitution, a committee is empowered to do the review, not individuals or persons who may have an interest in the potential case. Laurie Griffith Manager of Judicial Process and Social Witness

    by Laurie Griffith

    August 10, 2015


  2. In Disciplinary Cases the accused and the IC receive the statement of the alleged offense made by the accuser but the accuser does not receive any information that justifies the IC's decision not to file charges. How is this due process and how do you determine if the IC did a thorough investigation with no information given other than no charges will be filed?

    by Elder Celestine Tory

    June 28, 2014


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