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Act 27, 1978 (XXVII) – Act anent Definitions for Inclusion in “The Practice“. 24th, May 1978.

Act 24, 2023 – Interim Act – Conduct, Complaints and Discipline of Office-bearers supersedes this for complaints received after the 2023 General Assembly

The General Assembly instruct that the list of definitions following be retained for inclusion

in a future edition of “The Practice”

(1) Citation.

(a) A formal written summons or notice requiring attendance at a Church Court.
It is delivered to the person named or to his dwelling and the fact of delivery is duly certified.
Such citation may, at the discretion of the Court, be repeated up to a third time if not obeyed sooner.

(b) A formal verbal summons issued in presence of the Court and this fact minuted is called a “citation apud acta”. This is a peremptory summons which does not have to be repeated.

(2) Libel. – A formal charge, against a minister must be presented in the form of a libel which has three parts: (i) Reference to forms of behaviour which are exhibited as in breach of Scripture with indication of the consequences to the transgressor: (ii) Allegations with reference to particulars, that the person on whom the libel is served has committed the breach described: (iii) Conclusion that the person libelled is, upon proof of the allegation, open to the consequences specified.

A libel may be served by a Church Court or a private accuser. In every case its form must be approved by the Church’s Law Agent.

(3) Relevancy. The relevancy of a libel gives an affirmative answer to two questions:

(a) Does the conduct specified in the first part of a libel constitute a breach of Scripture?

(b) Does the items specified in the second part amount to the breach specified?

(4) Competency. – This refers to witnesses and their ability to give reliable evidence and the propriety of so requiring.

(5) Hability. (p. 22 F. of P.) Fitness.

(6) Assoilzied. Discharged and not to be tried again on the grounds specified.

(7) Expiscate the truth. Lit. to “fish out “, i.e. to discover the truth.