Policies and Rules
Governing the Conduct of Hearings

The Policies and Rules Governing the Conduct of Hearings (Appendix 5 to the ASIEs), was written in 1980 and modified in 1985. The Rules then remained unchanged and largely unused until late 2002, when the AMC decided they needed improvement. The list of revisions to the Rules is an excellent example of an organization's tinkering with its rules to try to achieve some desired result rather than writing broad rules or guidelines that would allow for a variety of acceptable results:

Amended March 16, 2002
Amended March 29, 2003
Amended March 20, 2004
Amended December 4, 2004
Amended March 19, 2005

All versions are presented here so that you can see the progression of the changes.

Rules prior to 2002

Rules as of December, 2002

Rules as of July 5, 2003
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Rules as of March, 2004

Rule 7(B) was added 3/20/04 to permit the Respondent to waive a hearing before the H.C. and instead use a single arbitrator selected by the American Arbitration Committee.

Rule 10 as modified 3/29/03 prohibits the Respondent from having a verbatim record of the hearing.

Rule 12 as modified 3/20/04 states that, when an arbitrator is used, the arbitrator's finding of fact is final, and if an act inimical has been found, H.C. only determines sanction. Removes requirements for contents of written decision. Provides for different treatment of finding of fact between arbitrator and H.C. If H.C. was finder of fact, AMC may vote whether to accept findings; if arbitrator was finder of fact, AMC is obligated to accept the findings without question.

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Rules as of March, 2005

Missing ASIE's and indexing errors in the ASIE's make it impossible to track down individual changes to the Rules. I have not compared the Rules as of March 2004 with the current version in detail; however, one clear change is that the use of an arbitrator has been eliminated and various sections of the Rules modified to account for that change.

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"These [witch]hunts ...could not have happened unless a major legal change had taken place: the adoption by secular courts of inquisitional procedures. Secret sessions, withholding of the source of charges, denial of counsel, acceptance of evidence from prejudiced sources, lack of cross-examination, passing of indeterminate sentences, assumption of guilt—all these were justified to protect the church from heretics and society from witches."

Witchcraze : New History of the European Witch Hunts, by Anne L. Barstow

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