Petition 81191

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Special Investigation (81191-JA-¶2706)

Add new ¶2706.6 as follows:
  
¶2706.6 – Special Investigations:  In the event that jurisdiction in a judicial proceeding is ended as a result of the death of, or surrender of credentials by, the respondent in cases where the chargeable offense includes those listed in ¶2702.1(h), (i), or (j), a Committee on Investigations may be convened to make pastoral inquiry into the charges.  The inquiry shall:  
    (a) not be judicial in nature;
(b) be empowered to receive witnesses and to consider evidence; and
(c) reach a determination of truth related to the accusation and make a full report to the Executive Session of the Annual Conference, including recommendations for appropriate action.


Rationale

Following an investigation into sexual abuse of missionary children at church-run boarding schools in Africa, the Independent Committee of Inquiry in its 2002 report to the Presbyterian Church (USA) recommended this change in church law (along with 29 others).  Similar language now exists in their Book of Order.