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Memorandum No. 1168

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October 29 2010
In Re: Request for a Declaratory Decision from the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops in Reference to ¶411 and the Length of Term for a Bishop in the Africa Central Conference

On July 14, 2010, the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops unanimously adopted the following request for a declaratory decision:

According to the rules of the Africa Central Conference, a Bishop is elected to a four-year term. The Executive Committee of The Council of Bishops has determined that a Bishop so elected serves only until the end of that four year period, whether a new election has been held or scheduled. The Executive Committee holds that this is consistent with previous Judicial Council decisions (#61, #236, and #370), and that this is not a violation of Paragraph 411 of The Book of Discipline (2008).
Paragraph 2610.2 states:
The following bodies in The United Methodist Church are hereby authorized to make such petitions to the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions: (a) the General Conference; (b) the Council of Bishops; (c) any body created or authorized by the General Conference on matters relating to or affecting the work of such body; (d) a majority of the bishops assigned to any jurisdiction on matters relating to or affecting jurisdictions or the work therein; (e) a majority of the bishops assigned to any central conference on matters relating to or affecting the central conferences or the work therein; (f) any jurisdictional conference on matters relating to or affecting jurisdictions or jurisdictional conferences or the work therein; (g) any body created or authorized by the jurisdictional conference on matters relating to or affecting the work of such body; (h) any central conference on matters relating to or affecting central conference or the work therein; (i) any body authorized or created by a central conference on matters relating to or affecting the work of such body; and (j) any annual conference on matters relating to annual conferences or the work therein.
The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops is not a body authorized by the 2008 Discipline to petition the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision.
DIGEST
The Judicial Council has no jurisdiction.

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