54 Jurist 205 (1994)
Canonical Doctrines of Judicial Precedent: A Comparative Study

handle is hein.journals/juristcu54 and id is 211 raw text is: THE JURIST 54 (1994) 205-215

CANONICAL DOCTRINES OF JUDICIAL PRECEDENT:
A COMPARATIVE STUDY
NORMAN DOE*
In recent years the study of church law in Britain has undergone
something of a revival. In 1987 the Ecclesiastical Law Society was
established to promote its study in the Church of England. The society
has a membership of around four hundred clerics and lawyers not only
from the Church of England but also from the Anglican Church in
Wales and from overseas. The society's journal carries studies on do-
mestic state law relating to ecclesiastical matters and the internal canon
law of the Anglican church, though there have also been notable con-
tributions by Roman Catholic canonists. Indeed, the Ecclesiastical Law
Journal is now the principal written medium by which British eccle-
siastical and canon law is presented for public view.
Anglican canonists are developing various styles to handle questions
of church law, principally from the perspectives of theology, history,
and civil law.' One important incipient area of study is that of the
relation between Anglican and Roman Catholic canon law. The devel-
oping literature, still in its infancy, is beginning to reveal many points
of contact and, of course, points of significant difference. It is the
purpose of this short study to describe one such area--the doctrines of
judicial precedent. It is an introductory attempt to shed some light on
the judicial precedent system of the Church of England and the so-
called no-precedent system of Roman Catholic canon law. The aim
of the study is to suggest formal dissimilarities and practical similarities
between the two systems.
* LL.M., M.Th. (Wales), Ph.D. (Cambridge), Barrister-at-Law, Course Director
of the LL.M. in Canon Law, Cardiff Law School, University of Wales, UK.
I am indebted to Fr. Matthew Jones, M.A. (Cambridge), J.C.L. (Ottawa), Vice-
Officialis of the Cardiff Interdiocesan Tribunal, for his help with the Roman Catholic
materials.
I Norman Doe, Toward a Critique of the Role of Theology in English Ecclesi-
astical and Canon Law, Ecclesiastical Law Journal 2 (1992) 328-346.

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