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Consistory Court
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Author:  Mel [ Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Consistory Court

The consistory court is a type of ecclesiastical court, especially within the Church of England. They were established by a charter of King William I of England, and still exist today, although since about the middle of the 19th century consistory courts have lost much of their subject-matter jurisdiction.

Before 1858 consistory courts exercised jurisdiction (concurrently with the courts of their respective provinces) over matrimonial and probate matters. This jurisdiction was moved to the secular courts by the Court of Probate Act 1857 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857. Consistory Court had also corrective jurisdiction over the crimes of clerks, but this was abrogated by the Church Discipline Act 1840. Other former areas of jurisdiction included defamation and certain contracts cases.

Today, the principal business of consistory courts is now the dispensing of faculties dealing with churchyards and church property, although they also hear the trial of clergy (below the rank of bishop) accused of immoral acts or misconduct (under the Clergy Discipline Act 1892).

The Consistory court usually sits "on paper" without formal hearings. When hearings are required they can be held in any convenient building; either an existing court building or a school or community hall hired for the purpose. Historically Consistory Courts will have say in the Cathedral and many cathedrals still contain court rooms, although these are now used for other purposes. Consistory courts dealing with planning applications may sit in the church affected; but if the application is the subject of dispute the court will sit in a neutral venue so that "dispute" and "conflict" isn't brought into the church.


Author:  fisher38 [ Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consistory Court

I really find this court having a slightly funny setting. Maybe the jurors here are from the old school. However, this kind of court may have connected to a religious institution in such a way that the bishop is the main judge. Well, it's kind of a well-disciplined court isn't it? Imagine how disciplined the priest during their mass. :wink:
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Author:  portia [ Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Consistory Court

Consistory courts didn't have juries and, as far as I know, still don't. Just a judge, usually a cleric, appointed by the bishop or archbishop.

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