Thinking Anglicans

Natural Justice and the Anglican Covenant

Does the proposed Anglican Covenant satisfy the standards of Natural Justice? In other words, are the procedures for dispute settling in section 4 demonstrably fair?

Canon Alan Perry has written two articles which discuss this issue.

Natural Justice and the Anglican Covenant – Part 1

Natural Justice and the Anglican Covenant – Part 2

By the end of the second article, he concludes:

There is no remedy for the multiple overlapping roles of the members of the Standing Committee. In my view, the use of the Standing Committee as decision maker in the process is fatal to the Duty to be Fair. The proposed Anglican Covenant does not meet the standards of Natural Justice. It is intrinsically incapable of rendering decisions which are demonstrably fair.

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Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

This is an elegant statement of why the so-called Anglican Covenant is actually a power grab.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

A comment left at the end of the second of these excellent essays deserves emphasis here as well. In looking at sources of bias, financial sources are too easily dismissed. See, as that commentator suggests, Jim Naughton’s Follow the Money. An American journalist, whose name escapes me [Jeff Sharlet?] has written two books about a semi-secret American political organization has been financially involved with hateful anti-gay measures in Uganda.

All of those Primates flying around must get the money somewhere.

'Mr Seitz'
'Mr Seitz'
10 years ago

From the land of Pelagius, this is too perfect: ‘Natural Justice’.
Well, at least the progressive wing does not like the SC either. It is hardly ‘justice’ to have a SC that is so obviously unrepresentative of the Communion, leaving aside the complaints lodged in the name of something called ‘natural justice.’

Malcolm French+
10 years ago

Dr. Seitz, for an academic you do like to play fast and loose with the text. Canon Perry’s article does not argue that the Standing Committee is the problem, but rather that the entire Covenant scheme is fundamentally flawed – and would be at least as flawed if most any other body assigned the imperium the present draft grants the Standing Committee.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
10 years ago

“leaving aside the complaints lodged in the name of something called ‘natural justice.'”

Why would you leave that aside? There were some very powerful legal arguments in those two essays. It would be helpful to know which ones you don’t agree with and why.

Because the point many people are making is that we wouldn’t mind A Covenant, we’re just not particularly keen on THIS one.

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
10 years ago

If the Primates’ Meeting is successful in getting eight primates plus the Archbishop of Canterbury (a minimum of nine primates) on the Standing Committee, procedural fairness will be even harder to achieve.

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Doctor Seitz, you so obviously are still running on the numbers game, whereas each individual Province has equal status within the Anglican Communion – small or large, it makes no difference. The fact that African and Asian Provinces are larger and more conservative than most, does not entitle them to a greater say than any other Province in how the Communion conducts its business. After all, your own constituency – in A.C.I. – is so tiny that under your parameters, it would have no voice at all in Communion affairs. (On reflection, maybe it doesn’t). You are suggesting that you… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 years ago

The Front Page of Canada’s Anglican Journal ( just off the press) has an article on the moves to stop the Anglican Covenant. Father Malcolm gives a concise and articulate view of the state of the question. It’s worth checking out.
http://www.anglicanjournal.com/fileadmin/Image_Archive/Current_Issue/AJ-Jan2011.pdf

drdanfee
drdanfee
10 years ago

I am still of the persistent mind and heart and good conscience, to the effect that I cannot avoid wondering this: – if any conceivable covenant ‘needs’ or ‘requires’ a police/punishment provision, then probably to that very extent it cannot be a true and spiritual covenant, but instead becomes some other sort of skewed legal document whose main purpose is to ascribe categorical powers – mainly as power over others? So far no notion of covenant has at all been tabled that does not involve one part of the new fangled global communion arming itself and having new and odd… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
10 years ago

That Anglican Journal file is 2.5 Mb. Perhaps the article will also appear as a separate webpage.

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