|Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » The judge|
|§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.
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