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Dispensation and economy in the law governing the Church of England

Adam, William 2009. Dispensation and economy in the law governing the Church of England. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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There is general agreement amongst legal scholars and authorities that the law should be obeyed and should apply equally to all those subject to it without favour or discrimination. However, it is possible to see that in any legal system there will be situations when strict application of the law will produce undesirable results, such as injustice or other consequences not intended by the law as framed. In such circumstances the law may be changed but there may be broad policy reasons not to do so. The allied concepts of dispensation and economy grew up in the western and eastern traditions of the Christian church as mechanisms whereby an individual or a class could, by authority, be excused from obligations under a particular law in particular circumstances. These and similar methods, operating within a general assumption of obedience to the law, allow the strictness of the law to be tempered and obligations remitted with impunity. Besides the specific canonical concepts of dispensation and economy, discretion, custom, desuetude and deliberate inaction by enforcers can all function in the same way. Thus, whilst certainty and equality before the law are rarely if ever held not to be good, those in authority frequently have recourse to action akin to dispensation or economy for the prudent and just management of church and society. This thesis argues that dispensing power and authority exist within the Church of England as well as in other fields of contemporary law. The thesis is developed by examining the history of the concepts of dispensation and economy and by a series of case studies showing the development of these and other allied concepts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
K Law > K Law (General)
ISBN: 9781303214820
Funders: Cardiff Law School
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 17:31

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