Chapter 8

Interpretations of Law


The Section and Regulation headings included in THE CODE beginning with the 1995 General Revision shall not be construed or interpreted as substantive law.


The law of the Grand Lodge shall be expounded by the Grand Lodge, or the Grand Master, or the Master of a lodge to take precedence in the order named. [13-2.2; 59-2.2].


In every case in which an appeal from any act or order is authorized by THE CODE, such appeal shall be in writing signed by the appellant.

1. The appeal shall give in detail,

A. The facts and circumstances on which the act or order appealed from was based,

B. The facts and circumstances on which the appeal is founded, and

C. The reason for the modification or reversal applied for should be granted.

2. The appeal shall be filed with the Grand Master, if the appeal is directed to him.

3. The appeal shall be filed with the Grand Secretary, if the appeal is addressed to the Grand Lodge.

4. Where an appeal to both the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge is authorized, it may be taken directly to the Grand Lodge. [34-7.1; 41-11; 43-9; 43-10; 59-4;59-5; 59-5.4; 59-2.29; 45-23.20].

5. This regulation shall not apply to appeals in connection with trials as provided in the Trial Code. [13-3.2;16-1.13; 34-2; 43-9; 43-10;59-5; 98-1; 101-7].


The decisions of the Grand Lodge upon the reports of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence or the Committee on Appeals touching the legal questions involved are judicial in nature and are to be considered as correct interpretations of existing laws. Such action by the Grand Lodge must in no sense be considered as legislative or the making of law. [2-1; 2-6.2; 2-7].


Any member of the Grand Lodge may invoke its judicial determination upon a question of law as applicable to a given state of facts in the following manner:

1. The member shall present to the Grand Lodge a statement of the facts in writing and set forth the legal question which he claims is involved.

2. The Grand Lodge, if it entertains the statement, shall refer it to the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence which shall report thereon.

3. The action of the Grand Lodge on such report shall be deemed a judicial interpretation of the law bearing on such a case. [2-1; 2-6.2; 2-7].


Decisions and opinions of the Grand Master:

1. A decision must arise on a controverted point or question to which there are parties having conflicting interests, with the right to seek a review in the Grand Lodge. [59-5].

2. The action of the Grand Lodge on a decision, on the report of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence shall be deemed a correct interpretation of the law governing the case decided.[8-4]

3. Other rulings of the Grand Master are opinions.

A. The Master of a lodge, any Grand Lodge officer, District Deputy Grand Master, District Deputy Grand Lecturer, or any member of any Grand Lodge board, committee, or commission may inquire of the Grand Master as to the law in a particular case, and an opinion of the Grand Master in reply thereto isofficial. [13-2.2; 13-2.5; 13-3.2].

B. Answers by the Grand Master to letters from other members in which he gives his opinion as to law or fact are unofficial. [13-2.2; 13-2.5; 13-4.2].

4. Decisions and official opinions govern the particular cases in which they are rendered until set aside by the Grand Lodge. [13-2.2; 13-2.5; 34-1.2]

5. Opinions, if official and approved by the Grand Lodge, have the effect of an approval of the act of the Grand Master in the particular instance, but are not binding as correct expressions of either written or unwritten law. They are of value only as opinions formed upon ex parte statements, without issues submitted in proceedings requiring judicial determination.

Unofficial opinions do not control or govern either the lodge or the individual Mason. [13-2.2; 13-2.5].