The Ecclesiastical Law Society (ELS) working group that is looking at a replacement for the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) produced its final report…[this past] Wednesday.
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.
The chief purpose in forming an ELS working group was concern about injustices of the existing system. These have been acknowledged by another working group chaired by the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton (News, 11 December 2020). The final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) also addressed the issue of clergy discipline and supervision.
“We feel confident that we have reached final decisions on a scheme that will enable complaints of all levels of seriousness to be dealt with.” https://t.co/7graHGFUQ1
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) February 26, 2021