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Decision No. 859

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April 22 1999
In Re: Petition for Reconsideration of Decision 848.

Digest of Case

The Judicial Council retains jurisdiction under ¶ 2613 of the 1996 Discipline. Upon a petition for reconsideration by Bishop Hans Vaxby of the Norway Annual Conference, this body voted to reconsider its Decision 848, regarding the legality of the structure of the Norway Annual Conference. Decision 848 is withdrawn. Par. 29.5 of the 1996 Discipline authorizes central conferences "To make such rules and regulation for the administration of the work within their boundaries including such changes and adaptations of the General Discipline as the conditions in the respective areas may require, subject to the powers that have been or shall be vested in the General Conference." Par. 537.21 says that "[a] central conference shall have authority to edit and publish a central conference Discipline, which shall contain . . . such revised, adapted, or new sections as shall have been enacted by the central conference concerned . . . ." After review of the information provided by Bishop Vaxby in his petition for reconsideration, our opinion is that in restructuring its administration and work, the Norway Annual Conference was operating within the parameters of ¶¶ 29.5 and 537.21. Nevertheless, we stop short of affirming the bishop’s decision of law because we believe that the matter is now more properly within the jurisdiction of the Judicial Court of the Northern Europe Central Conference. The petition for reconsideration is from the presiding bishop of the affected central conference, and therefore, is an appeal from a presiding bishop. As such, and pursuant to ¶ 537.33, the matter is referred to the Judicial Court of the Northern Europe Central Conference for decision, a copy of such decision to be forwarded to the Judicial Council.

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