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The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion: Second Edition

1 March 2023

While each church in the Anglican Communion is autonomous and governed according to its own legal system, there are common principles of canon law. These principles have been factually established by studying the law of the churches, following the publication of The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion by Professor Norman Doe in 2008.

In 2022, the production of the second edition was a joint project overseen by the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics, the Ecclesiastical Law Society, and the Anglican Consultative Council. Input from over 70 canon lawyers worldwide contributed to the revision, which was chaired by Cardiff doctoral student Russell Dewhurst.

The second edition was launched in August 2022 at the Lambeth Conference – a meeting of over 600 bishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion. The launch was hosted by current Cardiff LLM student Vicentia Kgabe, Bishop of Lesotho.

In February 2023, Cardiff LLM graduate Alan Perry presented the Principles to the Anglican Consultative Council, at its meeting in Accra, Ghana. The ACC resolved to commend therevised Principles for study and use, and encouraged all Churches to keep their canons under review in the light of the Principles.

The first reading groups studying the second edition are already being formed in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and a Portuguese translation of the Principles is underway in the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

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