Legal Questions Committee

About the Legal Questions Committee

The Legal Questions Committee's remit is to advise the General Assembly on questions of Church law and constitutional law affecting the relationship between the Church and State.

The committee also advises and assists in preparing proposed legislation and on questions of interpretation and proposed changes to remits.

The Legal Questions Committee is responsible for compiling statistics of the Church (except for youth and finance) and to supervise all arrangements for the care of Church records and presbytery visits on behalf of the General Assembly.

Contact for more information

To get in touch with the committee, please contact the Principal Clerk's Office at the Church offices in Edinburgh.

An Updated Disciplinary Code For Our Church

The Working Group of the Legal Questions Committee, established to take forward the reform and consolidation of the Acts of the General Assembly dealing with matters of Discipline, Bullying, and Discrimination, with a view to bringing forward one consolidating and cohering Act to a future General Assembly, placed a draft Discipline Act on the Church website for discussion and input from members and stakeholders during the General Assembly of 2016. This website consultation remained open until 31st October 2016. Forty-six constructive, thoughtful, and generally encouraging responses came, not only from individuals, but also from Congregations and Presbyteries. All of this was in addition to the ongoing discussions which the Group continues to have with members of the Presbytery Clerks' Forum and the Judicial Proceedings Panel.

This consultation has been a valuable exercise which has contributed greatly to the development of the Working Group's thinking on this important piece of legislation for our Church. The Working Group is most grateful to all who have contributed to its work by taking the time and trouble to share their thoughts, expertise, and experiences with us.

As a result, the Working Group has been encouraged to think even more radically as regards the reform and consolidation of these Acts. Thus the Legal Questions Committee will be bringing some guiding principles for the further work which the Working Group intends to undertake on a new Discipline Act for the Church to this year's General Assembly for consideration, with a view to proposing a new consolidated and further reformed Discipline Act to the General Assembly of 2018.