What is the Judicial Council?
The Judicial Council is the highest judicial body or "court" of The United Methodist Church. Its nine members, comprised of both clergy and lay members, are elected by the General Conference for eight-year terms and receive no pay for their work. The five-to-four ratio of membership alternates every eight years between having a majority of clergy member and a majority of lay members.
The Judicial Council determines the constitutionality of acts or proposed acts of the General, Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences. It acts on these either on appeal of lower rulings or through requests for declaratory decisions. It also rules on whether acts of other official bodies of the denomination conform to The Book of Discipline. This is done in accordance with procedures established in The Book of Discipline.
Previously published on www.umc.org.