The Holy Synod is the highest authority of the Coptic Orthodox Church (Article 4, Principle Constitution). The membership of the Holy Synod consists of the Pope (who is the Chairman of the Synod), and all metropolitans, bishops, auxiliary bishops, Chorbishops, heads of monasteries and patriarchal agents (Article 6, Principle Constitution).
The Holy Synod has the authority to enact laws for the Church and judge clergy and laity in ecclesiastical matters (Articles 8 and 9, Principle Constitution). Its decisions have authority over all clergy and laity in the Church.
Generally, the Holy Synod meets twice each year (Article 38, Principle Constitution). However, it is permissible for the Holy Synod to meet on other occasions in special circumstances if the requirements in the Principle Constitution are satisfied.