The Ecclesiastical Law Society working group that has been looking at a replacement for the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) produced its final report on Wednesday. This document can be found here.
The Church Times reports on this: New C of E disciplinary process ‘could save £250,000’ and boost legal aid
..The working group, chaired by Peter Collier QC, the Vicar-General of York, calculates that its proposed scheme will cost the Church an average of £652,000 p.a. This includes £294,000 to provide legal aid for all respondents accused of serious misconduct.
The group reckons that the average annual cost of the existing, discredited system under the CDM to be approaching £900,000, with only £104,325 allocated for legal aid (2019 figure).
The working group predicts a saving even if legal aid is offered in minor as well as serious complaints. This would put the annual legal aid bill at £438,000, making the total cost of dealing with complaints £796,000…
Bishop Tim Thornton, who chairs the official working group charged with making proposals to General Synod for CDM reform issued this Response to Ecclesiastical Law Society report on CDM
“As chair of the Clergy Discipline Review Group I welcome the report published by the working group of the ELS.
“It has been very good to work with them and especially good to have two of their group on our group.
“As I have made clear publicly I am committed to finding a replacement for the CDM and I am clear that many of the ideas and detailed work in the ELS report is enormously helpful to us and all who will consider what a replacement Measure will look like.
“I am especially grateful to Peter Collier for the immense amount of time and effort he has put in to chairing the group and bringing this Report to publication.”
His group published a progress report in December, which we reported on here.
The Sheldon Hub has undertaken considerable research on this topic, since 2017, as summarised here. On 21 February they wrote:
Sheldon remains very concerned that detailed proposals are being brought forward for the replacement of CDM without any published document on the Scope and Purpose of such a Measure. As no-one else appeared to have the appetite to produce one, Sheldon offers this document as a starting point : Purpose and scope of proposed replacement of CDM.