Four main types of bodies constitute the Scientology system of justice.
A Court of Ethics is convened when known evidence exists of an offense committed against the justice codes by a person. A staff member is appointed as hearing officer and adjudicates the facts of the matter and makes a recommendation based on these. The convening authority may direct amends based on the findings commensurate with the offense.
A Board of Investigation has the duty to discover the cause of conflicts amongst Scientologists or poor performance in an area in the Church. A three- to five-member board is appointed to conduct an investigation. The board reports on its findings but recommends no disciplinary actions. It may recommend a Committee of Evidence be convened should it uncover serious offenses.
A Chaplain’s Court exists where grievances may be heard and disputes brought to speedy and equitable resolution. The Chaplain hears all matters, or when requested and allowed by the Chaplain, a body of three people is selected mutually agreeable to both parties. Scientologists use this means of civil justice because it is faster and fairer than what they would receive from any court system. If two Scientologists cannot resolve, say, a personal financial matter, they can bring this before the Chaplain’s Court and get it handled rapidly and fairly. The alternative would be to bring costly and time-consuming suit in the legal system.
A Committee of Evidence is convened to try more serious matters. This is a fact-finding body composed of between four and seven members. Its duty is to conduct an inquiry into known offenses, hear evidence from witnesses it calls, arrive at a finding and make a full report and recommendation to its convening authority for his action.