The Ecclesiastical Law Society has published the interim report of its working party reviewing the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. There is an executive summary here. The working party, under the chairmanship of HH Peter Collier QC, acknowledges the widespread recognition that the CDM is not working well and is in need of replacement. It believes that there is a need for an early assessment of the complaint – in short, a sifting process – to identify:
- cases that are frivolous, vexatious or unsubstantial and their speedy dismissal;
- cases that are capable of local resolution with attempts being made to resolve them;
- cases of misconduct of a less serious nature that will be dealt with by the bishop choosing to apply lower level penalties and/or provide assistance where needed; and
- cases of serious misconduct that require being investigated on behalf of the Church and adjudicated on by an independent tribunal.