A054 Amend Canons IV.2, IV.11, IV.12, and IV.13 regarding the Church Attorney

Three important changes were accomplished. First, currently most of the Church Attorney’s functions are described in Canon IV.2, the definitional canon, rather than being included in the canons addressing specific steps in the disciplinary process where the Church Attorney has a role. This amendment moves the descriptions of the Church Attorney’s functions into the canons describing those steps (Investigation, Conference Panel, and Hearing Panel). Second, the Investigation canon lacks clarity on when the Church Attorney supervises the Investigator. This amendment clarifies that when the Reference Panel calls for an Investigation, then it supervises the Investigation at that stage, and when the Church Attorney calls for investigation, then the Church Attorney supervises the Investigation. Third, currently the canons give the Church Attorney sole discretion to decline to advance a disciplinary matter. Concerns have been raised about such discretion residing in only one person, particularly in a disciplinary system that is structured generally to include multiple voices in decision-making. This amendment would require a Church Attorney who declines to advance a matter to set out reasons for that decision and requires others in the Title IV process to accept or reject that decision.