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Rome - Christian Law: An Ecumenical Initiative

1 December 2015

Panel of experts

A Panel of Experts met in Rome in October 2015 to agree submission to the World Council of Churches of a document on Christian law. The meeting was funded in part by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund. It was convened by Mark Hill QC, honorary professor at Cardiff Law School and discussed a paper presented by Norman Doe, Director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff, based on findings in his book Christian Law: Contemporary Principles (Cambridge University Press, 2013). The Panel first met in Rome in 2013, the first ever meeting of jurists from across the Christian traditions worldwide to discuss the unifying role of law in global ecumenism.

The 2013 meeting agreed on the existence of 'principles of Christian law' - a first in ecumenical dialogue. It met again in 2014 and agreed to prepare a submission to the World Council of Churches in response to the latter's report The Church: Towards a Common Vision (2013). This third meeting in Rome finalised its submission to the WCC; and worked on the first of a four-section Statement of Principles of Christian Law Common to Church Families Worldwide - fifty candidate principles were presented by Norman Doe on Ecclesiastical Disicipline, and Church Property; 47 principles were agreed. The Panel meets again in 2016 to continue work on further principles to be drafted by Norman Doe.

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