Assemblies - Taking Problems to

It is the responsibility of Bahá’í Assemblies to decide when individual interests should be subordinated to those affecting the collective welfare of the community. But, as already stated, the interest of the individual should always be safeguarded within certain limits, and provided they do not seriously affect the welfare of the group as a whole.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, no. 411

After learning about a problem that may require action, the Local Spiritual Assembly decides what information it needs, from what sources the information will be obtained, and how it will gather the information. The persons reported to have violated Bahá’í law, created disunity, or broken civil laws must be given the opportunity to present their side of the case.

Universal House of Justice, NSA USA - Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

If the individual believer is unable personally and prayerfully to resolve such a problem, he should, as each case may indicate, either himself refer to the Spiritual Assembly for guidance, or refer the believers to that institution. A Bahá’í who wishes to help his needy fellow-believer may do so by extending his assistance either personally, or impersonally through the Spiritual Assembly if he feels that this method will provide the means to objectively assess the real needs involved, or will maintain and preserve better relationship between him and the believer concerned.

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 124

Information should be gathered in the normal way. It is, of course, quite in order for the

Assembly to appoint a committee for this purpose. Indeed, this is often done in order to save the time of the Assembly.

Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, 26 August 1965

It should also be understood that a member may wish to absent himself from a meeting at which subjects in which he is personally involved are to be discussed. In such cases he may do so unless the Assembly requires him to be present.

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 180

No member may be required to leave the meeting, even though personally involved in

the matter to be discussed, although any member may ask permission to be absent from such discussion, and the decision whether or not to grant such permission rests with the Assembly itself.

Universal House of Justice, 18 Nov. 1973, cited in Hawaiian Bahá’í News, #82