Page 22 - Montana Freemason May 2013
P. 22

Montana Freemason                             May 2013     Volume 86 Number 2

                                                           shall, by a unanimous vote of all of its members,
                     R-2013-12                             determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. The
                                                           judgment of the tribunal is final.
An amendment to Section 43030 removing the
section in its entirety and adding a new Section
43031, changing the formation, composition and             And a new section, designated Section 43032 shall be
power of a Tribunal.                                       added as follows

Be it resolved that Section 43030 be amended by            43032. LOCATION OF TRIBUNAL. The tribunal
removing the section as follows:                           shall be held at any duly chartered lodge within this
                                                           jurisdiction in which the Grand Master is a member
4G3r0a3n0d.  FORMATION OF TRIBUNAL. The Past               in good standing, excluding any historic lodges. If the
             Master who received the charges shall         Grand Master is a member of more than one lodge
summon four or more other Past Grand Masters of            within this jurisdiction (excluding historic lodges),
this jurisdiction, who shall at the time be members in     the tribunal shall be located at the lodge closest to
good standing of lodges therein, to assemble with him      Grand Master's principal residence.
at the time and place designated, to then and there try    Submitted by Missoula Lodge N0. 13
the accused. Each member of the tribunal shall have
power to summon witnesses at the request of either                        Proponent’s Explanation
the accused or accusers and the tribunal shall receive        This Resolution clarifies and provides specific
such testimony as in its judgment shall be proper,         procedures for a trial for a Grand Master. As was the
and shall, by a majority vote of all of its members,       case during this past Masonic Year, many Masons were
determine upon the guilt or innocence of the accused,      confused about the place, manner, powers, and duties
the judgment of the tribunal shall be final.               and the procedures for a Masonic Tribunal. The final
                                                           decision by the tribunal has decreased confidence in
And be it resolved that a new Section 43031 be added       the Grand Lodge officers, and must be remedied
as follows:                                                as quickly as possible. Regardless as to whether this
                                                           lack of confidence is warranted, reform is necessary to
43031. FORMATION, COMPOSITION AND                          address some of the issues involved in the composition
POWERS OF TRIBUNAL. The Past Grand Master                  and powers of a sitting Grand Master’s tribunal. The
who received the charges shall summon all living Past      proposed Resolution deletes Section 43030 of the
Grand Masters of this jurisdiction residing within the     Code of Statutes, and adds two new Sections entitled
State of Montana, who shall at the time be members in      “Formation, Composition, and Powers of Tribunal”
good standing of a lodge within this jurisdiction. All     and “Location of Tribunal.” The “Formation,
Past Grand Masters are required, except for cases of       Composition, and Powers of Tribunal” section
sickness, hardship or extreme distress, to attend the      provides that with some exceptions, all Past Grand
sitting Grand Master's tribunal. Past Grand Masters        Masters are required to attend a sitting Grand Master’s
claiming sickness, hardship, or extreme distress are       tribunal. In addition, this section explains how the
required to notify the Past Grand Master who received      tribunal will be selected, the powers of the tribunal,
the charges, in writing, no later than twenty-four         and its composition. This also provides Past Grand
(24) hours prior to the commencement of the Grand          Masters the extra responsibility to be prepared to sit
Master's tribunal. A tribunal shall be composed of         on a future tribunal if necessary. The new section
no fewer than four (4) and no greater than nine (9)        therefore provides all future Grand Masters and Past
Past Grand Masters. Counsel for the accused and for        Grand Masters written notice about the procedure for
the accuser may excuse any Past Grand Master for           the tribunal, and its composition. One of the added
cause (which shall include but is not limited to actual    procedures to the tribunal is the right to conduct voir
conflicts of interest or being called as a witness during  dire of Past Grand Masters prior to the tribunal’s
the tribunal). Counsel for the accused and the accuser     commencement. This is an added safeguard for
may exercise prior examination and each side may           both the prosecution and the accused to question the
exercise no more than two (2) peremptory challenges        potential jury. In addition, it provides safeguards for
to remove the remaining Past Grand Masters from            the Grand Master and the prosecution to exclude,
the tribunal. Prior examination shall be limited to        without cause, up to two Past Grand Masters that
thirty (30) minutes for the accused and the accuser.       either side believes may be prejudiced or otherwise
Each member of the tribunal shall have the power           biased for their respective cases. The second portion
to summon witnesses at the request of either the           regarding the “Location of Tribunal” streamlines the
accused or the accusers and the tribunal shall receive     location process, and provides the craft with sufficient
such testimony as in its judgment shall be proper, and

Page 22
   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27