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The Court of Arches: jurisdiction to jurisprudence – ‘entirely settled’?

Doe, Norman ORCID: 2021. The Court of Arches: jurisdiction to jurisprudence – ‘entirely settled’? Ecclesiastical Law Journal 23 (3) , pp. 322-341. 10.1017/S0956618X21000387

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The Arches Court, the court of appeal of the Province of Canterbury in the Church of England, has existed for more than 700 years. Its evolution – driven by principle, politics and pragmatism – is a fascinating reflection of a key tribunal in the court system of the English Church, and the site of major historical and often contentious developments within the Church. Its appellate status has not changed; it still has jurisdiction over faculties and clergy discipline; its judge is still appointed by the archbishop; and its jurisprudence has contributed much to the development of English ecclesiastical law. However, over the centuries its jurisdiction has contracted; the courts to which appeals against its decisions lie have changed; its historical lawyers of civilian advocates and proctors have been replaced by common law barristers and solicitors; the title for its judge, Dean of Arches, has survived by accident; its procedure has been simplified; and its decisions have throughout its history been respected but today have the authority of binding precedents. The article takes the story up to 2018, when the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure provided that a decision of the Arches and of the provincial Chancery Court of York is today to be followed as if it were a decision of the other court.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Centre for Law and Religion (CLR)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0956-618X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 8 January 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 20:01

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