|Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » The judge|
|Canon 1419.||§1 In each diocese and for all cases which are not expressly excepted in law, the judge of first instance is the diocesan Bishop. He can exercise his judicial power either personally or through others, in accordance with the following canons.
§2 If the case concerns the rights or temporal goods of a juridical person represented by the Bishop, the appeal tribunal is to judge in first instance.
|Canon 1420.||§1 Each diocesan Bishop is obliged to appoint a judicial Vicar, or
‘Officialis’, with ordinary power to judge. The judicial Vicar is to be a person distinct from the Vicar general, unless the smallness of the diocese or the limited number of cases suggests otherwise.
§2 The judicial Vicar constitutes one tribunal with the Bishop, but cannot judge cases which the Bishop reserves to himself.
§3 The judicial Vicar can be given assistants, who are called associate judicial Vicars or ‘Vice-officiales’.
§4 The judicial Vicar and the associate judicial Vicars must be priests of good repute, with a doctorate or at least a licentiate in canon law, and not less than thirty years of age.
§5 When the see is vacant, they do not cease from office, nor can they be removed by the diocesan Administrator. On the coming of the new Bishop, however, they need to be confirmed in office.
|Canon 1421.||§1 In each diocese the Bishop is to appoint diocesan judges, who are to be clerics.
§2 The Episcopal Conference can permit that lay persons also be appointed judges.
Where necessity suggests, one of these can be chosen in forming a college of Judges.
§3 Judges are to be of good repute, and possess a doctorate, or at least a licentiate, in canon law.
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