The following Bills were lodged with the Honorary Secretaries of the General Synod before 29 March 2005:

Click on the Bill name for the text of the Bill.

Bill No 1
LADY SHEIL
VEN REB WHITE

(on behalf of the Standing Committee)

Explanatory Memorandum

To amend Chapter III of the Constitution


Bill No 2
MR RS NEILL
MR S GAMBLE

(on behalf of the Representative Church Body)

Explanatory Memorandum

To amend Chapter XIII of the Constitution

Bill No 3
THE BISHOP OF DOWN AND DROMORE
VERY REV JF DINNEN

Explanatory Memorandum

To amend the Statute of the General Synod Chapter VI of 1872 as amended by the Statutes
Chapter III of 1900, Chapter IX of 1922, Chapter II of 1959, and Chapter II of 1985

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Bill Pamphlet note

This pamphlet contains those Bills which were lodged with the honorary secretaries at least six weeks before the first day of the session.

A Bill is a proposal for legislation which, if passed, will become a Statute, binding on all members of the Church of Ireland. The procedure is designed to ensure that the proposed legislation is considered carefully, both in principle and in detail, and that there is a day’s interval for reflection before final approval is given.

The Bills will be taken into consideration in the order in which they appear in this pamphlet, unless the Synod directs otherwise. On the first stage, the proposer moves “That leave be given to introduce Bill no. __” unless leave has been given in the previous session. This is a formal motion which is normally put to the Synod without debate, but in certain circumstances one speech in support of the motion, and one in opposition to it, may be permitted.

If that motion is passed, the Synod proceeds to the Second Reading, when the principles of the Bill are open to debate. At the conclusion of the debate on this stage, the motion “That the Bill be approved in principle and given a second reading” is put to the Synod. If this motion is passed, indicating that the Synod approved the Bill in principle, the Committee stage follows.

In the case of Special Bills leave to introduce such a Bill may only be given at an ordinary session of the Synod; leave having been given, the Bill shall be deemed to have been read a first time, but it shall not be processed further until the next ordinary session when it will come before the Synod for second reading.

On the Committee stage, the Bill is considered in detail, the clauses being put to the Synod one by one for debate and decision. The clauses are taken first in their order; then, the schedules (if any); and, finally, the Preamble (the introductory matter). Amendments, notice of which was given to the honorary secretaries not later than the Friday before the session, will appear on the agenda paper for the first day; no other amendment may be moved on Committee stage except with the leave of the Synod. An amendment is taken on the clause to which it relates, and is disposed of before the clause itself is put to the Synod.

In the case of Special Bills, an amendment can be moved on Committee stage only if notice has been given in the previous session except for any dealing with omissions or grammatical errors.

When the Committee stage has been concluded, the Bill is reported to the Synod, and a day – usually the third day – is fixed for the remaining stages.
On the third day the Report stage is taken. Any amendments which have been lodged with the honorary secretaries before the close of business on the second day will appear on the supplemental agenda paper for the third day. After these amendments have been disposed of – or immediately if there are not any amendments – the Synod proceeds to the Third Reading. At this stage, debate is confined to the provisions of the Bill, and at its conclusion the motion “That the Bill be now read a third time and passed” is put to the Synod.

A simple majority of the House of Representatives is required to pass any and every motion during the passage of a Bill through the Synod, except when
(a) a vote by orders has been requisitioned by ten members of either order (which may be done on any motion), in which case a simple majority of each order, voting separately, is required.
(b) a two-thirds majority of each order, voting separately, is required to pass the Second Reading and the Third Reading of a Bill which proposes a modification or alteration in the articles, doctrines, rites, rubrics or formularies of the Church.

For fuller information on Bill procedure reference should be made to Part II of Chapter I of the Constitution and to the Standing Orders. A leaflet on Bill procedure is available on application to the Honorary Secretaries.

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