|Part of a series on the|
| Hierarchy of the|
|Ecclesiastical titles (order of precedence)|
An ecclesiastical judge (Latin : Judex -, or Judex Ecclesiasticus) is an ecclesiastical person who possesses ecclesiastical jurisdiction either in general or in the strict sense. Up until 1858 when Ecclesiastical courts were abolished, ecclesiastical judges tried church clergy men in church courts or Ecclesiastical courts. Charges dealt in these courts were often very lenient, especially when dealt to church clergymen.
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction in its primary sense does not signify jurisdiction over ecclesiastics, but jurisdiction exercised by church leaders over other leaders and over the laity.
This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. (September 2009)
The official body appointed by the qualified ecclesiastical authority for the administration of justice is called a court (judicium ecclesiasticum, tribunal, auditorium) Every such court consists at the least of two sworn officials: the judge who gives the decision, and the clerk of the court (scriba, secretarius, scriniarius, notarius, cancellarius), whose duty is to keep a record of the proceedings and the decision.As a rule, however, an ecclesiastical court forms a collegiate tribunal, the members of which either join with the presiding officer in giving the decision as judges (judices) or merely advise with him as councillors (auditores, assessores, consultores, consiliarii) (cc. xvi, xxi, xxii, xxiii, X, De off. et pot. jud. deleg., I, xxix).
Connected with the courts are advocates, procurators, syndics, defenders, promoters, conservators, apparitors, messengers etc. The procurators and advocates conduct the case as the representatives or defenders of the parties to the suit;the syndic is the counsel of a juridical person, a collegiate body or a chapter. The chief duty of the conservators is to represent the rights of the personae miserabiles, i.e. members of orders, the poor, widows, orphans. The fiscal promoter (promotor fiscalis) is appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities to watch over ecclesiastical discipline, consequently in penal cases he appears as public prosecutor. A defensor matrimonii, or defender of the matrimonial tie, assists in suits concerning the invalidity of a marriage.
A conservator, was a judge delegated by the pope to defend certain privileged classes of persons – as universities, Catholic religious orders, chapters, the poor – from manifest or notorious injury or violence, without recourse to a judicial process. Conservators were appointed as early as the 13th century.
In ancient Rome, an apparitor was a civil servant whose salary was paid from the public treasury. The apparitores assisted the magistrates. There were four occupational grades (decuriae) among them. The highest of these was the scribae, the clerks or public notaries, followed by the lictores, lictors; viatores, messengers or summoners, that is, agents on official errands; and praecones, announcers or heralds.
A courier is a company, an employee of that company or a person who delivers a message, package or letter from one place or person to another place or person.
In addition to his jurisdiction, which can be ordinary, quasi-ordinary or delegated, the ecclesiastical judge must also have certain physical and moral qualities. It is further necessary to have full use of his senses and understanding, and suitable legal knowledge; the person appointed must also be twenty years old; but eighteen years will suffice for a judge appointed by the pope or if the parties agree to it.The judge must also have a good reputation, must not be excommunicated, suspended from office, or under an interdict Above all he must be impartial; a suspicion of partiality attaches to the judge who is personally interested in a case, or is related by blood within the fourth degree to one of the parties, or connected with one by marriage, or who lives in the same house, or dines at a common table, or is otherwise friendly, or on the other hand inimical, towards one of the parties, and he may be rejected (recusari, exceptio judicis suspecti) by the accused or by both parties as prejudiced (suspectus) If objection be raised against a judge on the ground of prejudice, which must be done in writing and if possible before the beginning of the action, arbitrators are to pass on the objection; if, however, objection be raised against the delegate of the bishop, the decision rests with the bishop. If the objection be declared well-founded, the judge transfers the case, with the concurrence of the party who brought the accusation, to another or to a higher judge. If the judge lacks the necessary qualifications, and this be known to the parties in the suit, the decision is invalid; if, however, his unfitness be unknown to the parties, and he follow statute canon law, the Church supplements the deficiency, even if the judge have acted in bad faith.
In Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure, or ban that prohibits persons, certain active Church individuals or groups from participating in certain rites, or that the rites and services of the church are banished from having validity in certain territories for a limited or extended time.
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction is exercised over all baptized persons; yet in order that an ecclesiastical judge may be permitted to exercise de facto his judicial power he must also be competent, i.e. must be authorized to pass judgment on a given person in a given case Proceedings held before a judge without competence are null and void .Those subject to the jurisdiction of a certain judge are said to be within the competence (competentia) of his court, or have their forum in him. The forum is either the free, voluntary choice of the parties (forum prorogatum), or it is defined by law (forum legale), but in criminal and matrimonial cases there is no forum prorogatum.Ecclesiastics can choose another judge only with the permission of the bishop, and in this case he must be an ecclesiastic The legal forum (forum legale) is either ordinary, if the proper course of the regular courts is followed, or extraordinary, if for legal reasons a regular court is passed over. Moreover, the forum legale is either general (commune), corresponding to the universally valid law, or special or privileged (speciale sive privilegiatum), resting on privilege, as in the case of ecclesiastics on account of the privilegium fori which they cannot renounce.
The privilegium fori is a generic term for legal privileges to be tried in a particular court or type of court of law.
As the jurisdiction of a judge is generally limited to a defined locality, the forum commune is fixed by the domicile or quasi-domicile of the accused. The axiom holds: Actor sequitur forum rei, the plaintiff goes to the court of the accused.Domicile is that place where one actually resides with the intention of always remaining there Quasi-domicile is determined by actual residence at the place and the intention to remain there at least the greater part of the year; there is also a domicile by operation of law, legal or fictitious domicile (domicilium legale sive fictitium)—thus a wife may be subject to the jurisdiction of the domicile of the husband, children to that of the parents, religious to that of the place where the monastery is situated, persons having no fixed abode to that of the present place of residence A process can be instituted at Rome against an ecclesiastic who is only accidentally there. Besides the—usual—forum domicilii, there is also that of the object (forum rei sitae, where the thing is situated), i.e. complaint can be brought before the judge in whose district the controverted object is; the forum where the contract is made (forum contractus), i.e. the parties can bring action before the judge in whose district the disputed contract has been made; that of the offence (forum delicti), within the jurisdiction where the offence was committed. There is also a forum arising from the connection of matters (forum connexitatis sive continentiae causarum), if the matters in dispute are so interrelated that one cannot be decided without the other; also the forum of a counterplea (forum reconventionis sive reaccusationis), i.e. in a criminal suit the defendant can, on his side, accuse the plaintiff in the court of the judge before whom he himself is to be tried. If the judge himself wishes to bring an accusation, the superior appoints the judge who is to hear it. The decision of an incompetent judge is valid if by common error (error communis) he is held to be competent In civil disputes the parties can entrust the decision to any desired arbiter.
In law, domicile is the status or attribution of being a lawful permanent resident in a particular jurisdiction. A person can remain domiciled in a jurisdiction even after he has left it, if he has maintained sufficient links with that jurisdiction or has not displayed an intention to leave permanently.
In law, no fixed abode or without fixed abode is not having a fixed geographical location as a residence. This is applicable to several groups:
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
If the judge render a defective decision, appeal can be taken to the next higher judge; this relation of the courts to one another and the successive course of appeals (gradus), called succession of instances, follows the order of superiority. From the beginning the bishop, or his representative, the archdeacon, or the "official" (officialis), or the vicar-general, was the judge in first instance for all suits, contentious or criminal, which arose in the diocese or in the corresponding administrative district, so far as such suits were not withdrawn from his jurisdiction by the common law. The court of second instance was originally the provincial synod, later the metropolitan.The court of the third instance was that of the pope. The court of the first instance for bishops was the provincial synod, the metropolitan, the exarch or the patriarch; the court of second instance was that of the pope; only the pope could be the judge of first instance for exarchs and patriarchs. Since the Middle Ages the pope is the judge of first instance in all more important episcopal causes (causae maiores, graviores, difficiliores, arduae), the number and extent of which are in no way exactly definable, but to which above all belong the causae criminales graviores contra episcopos—more serious criminal charges against bishops Conformably to this the diocesan bishop or his representative (the vicar-general, or officialis, or some other diocesan authority) became the judge of the court of first instance, so far as common law has not withdrawn from him this jurisdiction. If the see is vacant the vicar-capitular is judge of the court of first instance. The judge of the second instance is the metropolitan. For archdioceses, as a rule, the judge of second instance is a neighbouring archbishop or bishop appointed by the Holy See. The same ordinance also applies to exempt bishoprics. The court of the third instance is the Apostolic See, but in the causae maiores it is the court of first instance As, however, the pope is the judex ordinarius omnium, the ordinary ecclesiastical judge of all, ecclesiastical suits without exception can be brought or summoned before the papal forum as the court of first instance.
In the Middle Ages the lower courts were often evaded, or the popes summoned the suits at one before their forum;this custom had some advantages on account of the better legal education and greater impartiality of the members of the papal court, but the administration of justice was delayed and, above all, made more costly by the rule enforced in the papal courts that the parties must appear in person. What made the matter still worse was that such summonses to Rome, as to the court of first instance, diminish unduly the authority of the lower courts. To put an end, therefore, to constant complaint on this point, the Decretals ordained that in future, before the rendering of the sentence, no one could appeal to a higher court without giving a sufficient reason to the judge a quo (from whom the appeal was made), and that the appeal could only be accepted by the judge ad quem (to whom appeal lies) after he had satisfied himself of the validity of the appeal Lawsuits, therefore, pending before the Apostolic See were to be tried by a judge belonging to the place whence the appeal came, and especially appointed by the pope. In the late Middle Ages rulers of countries were frequently granted for their domains the papal privilegia de non evocando (exemption from summons); in some cases, they forbade the appeal to a foreign court.
Following the precedents of the Synod of Constanceand Synod of Basle, the Council of Trent decreed: The court of the bishop is the court of first instance Each suit must be brought to a close within at least two years. During this period no appeal is permitted, neither can the higher judge summon the case before his forum; an appeal before the lapse of two years is permissible only if a final sentence has been pronounced.
In case of appeal to the Apostolic See, or if the latter, for good reasons, summons a suit from the beginning before its forum, the suit is to be decided either at Rome or by delegated judges on the spot (judices in partibus). As on account of the remoteness of the place where the dispute arose and the consequent lack of knowledge of local persons, unsuitable judges have been at times appointed at the place where the dispute arose, the bishops are each to select, on occasion of the provincial—or diocesan synod, at least four men (judices synodales) having the qualities designated by Boniface VIII,and present their names to the Apostolic See, which in its selection of judges is to be so limited to the persons thus named that the delegation of any other person is invalid; as provincial and diocesan synods are no longer regularly held, bishops are permitted to make this selection with the advice of the diocesan chapter; consequently, judges so appointed are called judices prosynodales. At present, this also is no longer customary: on the contrary, the Apostolic See appoints its representatives in partibus entirely independently, but it is so arranged that the delegation is bestowed on neighbor bishops and archbishops for a definite term of years. Such delegation is all the more necessary in case a State does not permit ecclesiastical suits to be tried outside of its boundaries, or will only permit the judgement of such a court to be executed within its territories by the secular power.
A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. In practice, the court directs the clerk to issue the writ, and directs the sheriff to serve it on the subordinate, and the clerk prepares the writ and gives it to the sheriff, who serves it. This writ is often issued by a superior court to the lower court asking it not to proceed with a case which does not fall under its jurisdiction.
An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages these courts had much wider powers in many areas of Europe than before the development of nation states. They were experts in interpreting canon law, a basis of which was the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian which is considered the source of the civil law legal tradition.
A consistory court is a type of ecclesiastical court, especially within the Church of England where they were originally established pursuant to a charter of King William the Conqueror, and still exist today, although since about the middle of the 19th century consistory courts have lost much of their subject-matter jurisdiction. Each diocese in the Church of England has a consistory court.
Forum shopping is a colloquial term for the practice of litigants having their legal case heard in the court thought most likely to provide a favorable judgment. Some jurisdictions have, for example, become known as "plaintiff-friendly" and so have attracted litigation even when there is little or no connection between the legal issues and the jurisdiction in which they are to be litigated.
The Arches Court, presided over by the Dean of Arches, is an ecclesiastical court of the Church of England covering the Province of Canterbury. Its equivalent in the Province of York is the Chancery Court.
Forum non conveniens (FNC) is a (mostly) common law legal doctrine whereby courts may refuse to take jurisdiction over matters where there is a more appropriate forum available to the parties. As a doctrine of the conflict of laws, forum non conveniens applies between courts in different countries and between courts in different jurisdictions in the same country. Forum non conveniens is not applicable between counties or federal districts within a state.
The Roman Rota, formally the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota, and anciently the Apostolic Court of Audience, is the highest appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church, with respect to both Latin-rite members and the Eastern-rite members and is, with respect to judicial trials conducted in the Catholic Church, the highest ecclesiastical court constituted by the Holy See. An appeal may be had to the pope himself, who is the supreme ecclesiastical judge. The Catholic Church has a complete legal system, which is the oldest in the West still in use. The court is named Rota (wheel) because the judges, called auditors, originally met in a round room to hear cases. The Rota was established in the 13th century.
In the jurisprudence of the canon law of the Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases. Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases.
The Defender of the Bond, or Defensor Matrimonii in Latin, is a Catholic Church official whose duty is to defend the marriage bond in the procedure prescribed for the hearing of matrimonial causes which involve the validity or nullity of a marriage already contracted.
A Commissary Apostolic is Commissary who has been appointed by the pope, hence commissary Apostolic.
Cardinal Vicar is a title commonly given to the vicar general of the Diocese of Rome for the portion of the diocese within Italy. The official title, as given in the Annuario Pontificio, is "Vicar General of His Holiness".
The right of patronage in Roman Catholic canon law is a set of rights and obligations of someone, known as the patron in connection with a gift of land (benefice). It is a grant made by the church out of gratitude towards a benefactor.
Trusteeism and the trustee system are practices and institutions within certain parishes of the Catholic Church in the United States, under which laypersons participate in the administration of Ecclesiastical Property. When laypersons are among the trustees, the Church seeks agreement with the civil authorities to have the property administered under principles of canon law.
Canonical institution is a technical term of the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, meaning in practice an institution having full recognition and status within the Church.
"Appeal as from an abuse" is a legal term applied in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, meaning originally a legal appeal as recourse to the civil forum (court) against the usurpation by the ecclesiastical forum of the rights of civil jurisdiction. It could mean a recourse to the ecclesiastical forum against the usurpation by the civil forum of the rights of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
A papal judge delegate was a type of judicial appointment created during the 12th century by the medieval papacy where the pope would designate a local judge, often an ecclesiastic, to decide a case that had been appealed to the papal court.
The jurisprudence of Catholic canon law is the complex of legal theory, traditions, and interpretative principles of Catholic canon law. In the Latin Church, the jurisprudence of canon law was founded by Gratian in the 1140s with his Decretum. In the Oriental canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches, Photios holds a place similar to that of Gratian for the West.
A censure, in the canon law of the Catholic Church, is a medicinal and spiritual punishment imposed by the church on a baptized, delinquent, and contumacious person, by which he is deprived, either wholly of in part, of the use of certain spiritual goods, until he recover from his contumacy.
In France, the tribunal correctionnel is the first-instance tribunal that governs in penal matters over offenses classified as misdemeanors and committed by an adult. In 2013, French correctional tribunals rendered 576,859 judgments on 'action publique, pronounced 501,171 verdicts and homologué 67,983 compositions pénales.