Phil Ashey of the AAC writes that Dr. Noll's essay "is characterized by meticulous research into the history of Communion Governance, the history of the role of bishops meeting in council together at Lambeth and through the Primates' Meetings, the history of other Instruments of governance (such as the Anglican Consultative Council), and the relative merits of three different models of governance: pure autonomy, executive bureaucracy (with an enhanced role for the See of Canterbury), and the conciliar authority of bishops."
Phil Ashey goes on to give an overview of Dr. Noll's conclusions regarding the Anglican Communion Covenant:
The conclusion of this essay is that the one matter of principle that cannot be abandoned without abandoning our particular catholic and Anglican heritage is the responsibility of the ordained and bishops in council in particular, to rule and adjudicate matters of Communion doctrine and discipline.
If this is true, then the Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting (with the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding as primus inter pares) must be seen as the primary organs to deal with articulation of the faith, as happened at Lambeth 1998, and with breaches of the faith, as has not happened since then.
There must be only one track: those who adopt the Covenant are members of the Communion; those who do not adopt it are not. Bp. Mouneer Anis is right: when a sufficient number of Provinces have adopted the Covenant, the ACC and its Standing Committee should stand down and be constituted solely from Covenant-keeping Provinces. (pp. 48-49)
Dr. Noll states clearly what his findings are:
Read the entire essay here.
The method of the present essay is to review the failure of Communion governance, especially since 1998, and to ask whether the problem has to do with the persons in leadership or with the constitutional order itself. I shall argue that bishops-in-council - the Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting - who are the guardians of Communion doctrine and discipline, have exercised uneven authority to date but are the proper instrument to restore order to the Communion. Finally, I ask whether the Anglican Communion Covenant can be an effective part of a reformation of Communion governance.
I describe the performance of the Global South bishops and Primates in Communion governance as a tide which has ebbed and flowed over recent years. In particular, they have risen to the occasion in crises at Lambeth 1998 and again in 2003 with the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson but then have seen their influence subside after the immediate crisis has passed. I argue that their diminished status may become permanent, with the most recent top-down reordering of Communion structures, unless they stand firm for a conciliar role under an effective Covenant" (page 2)