Reference 31 October 2019

Referral to the Appellate Tribunal at the request of the Bishop of Newcastle

Clergy Discipline Ordinance 2019 Amending Ordinance 2019 (Diocese of Newcastle)

 The Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle has passed the Clergy Discipline Ordinance 2019 Amending Ordinance 2019

The amendments have the effect of ensuring that there could be no disciplinary action where:

  • a member of the clergy prayed a blessing for a couple who were married under the Marriage Act 1961 who were of the same sex
  • a member of the clergy declined to pray a blessing for blessing for a couple who were married under the Marriage Act 1961 who were of the same sex
  • a member of the clergy was married under the Marriage Act 1961 to a person of the same sex.

The Bishop of Newcastle has not exercised his right to assent or withhold assent to the Ordinance

On 31 October 2019 the Primate referred to the Appellate Tribunal the following questions:

  • Is any part of the Clergy Discipline Ordinance 2019 Amendment Ordinance 2019 of the Diocese of Newcastle inconsistent with the Fundamental Declarations or the Ruling Principles of the Constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia?
  • Does the Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle have the authority under section 51 of the Constitution to pass the Clergy Discipline Ordinance 2019 Amendment Ordinance 2019?
  • Where an Ordinance is passed by a Synod of a Diocese in the Province of New South Wales and referred to the Appellate Tribunal prior to the Bishop giving her/his assent in accordance with Constitution 5(c) of the Schedule of the Anglican Church of Australia Constitution Act 1902, may the Bishop give assent to the Ordinance on receiving the opinion of the Appellate Tribunal or is the Synod required to pass the ordinance again?

Documentation relevant to the matter includes the following:


Notification of Proceedings

On 7 November 2019 the Appellate Tribunal issued the Notification of Proceedings and Preliminary Directions.


Notice of Participation

Pursuant to the Appellate Tribunal Rules 1988, the Tribunal gives notice that any diocese, synod, person, class of persons or association claiming to be interested in the questions before the Tribunal should notify that interest and apply for leave to appear or to be represented at any hearing of the matter.

Notices must be given to The Registrar of the Appellate Tribunal on or before 18 December 2019 and supply an address for service, an email address for communication and the names and contact details of an agent for communication.

A summary list of participants is provided here.


Submissions – 6 January 2020

The Appellate Tribunal requested all parties to provide primary submissions by 6 January 2020.

Seven submissions were received and are provided here:

 

Consolidated submissions – 6 January 2020

 

Submissions in Reply – 14 February 2020

 

Consolidated submissions in reply – 14 February 2020