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Code of Canon Law

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  • BOOK VII : PROCESSES
    • PART II : THE CONTENTIOUS TRIAL
      • SECTION I: THE ORDINARY CONTENTIOUS TRIAL
        • TITLE IV: PROOFS (Cann. 1526 - 1586)
          • CHAPTER IV : EXPERTS
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CHAPTER IV : EXPERTS

Can. 1574 The services of experts are to be used whenever, by a provision of the law or of the judge, their study and opinion, based upon their art or science, are required to establish some fact or to ascertain the true nature of some matter.

Can. 1575 It is for the judge, after hearing the opinions or suggestions of the parties, to appoint the experts or, if such is the case, to accept reports already made by other experts.

Can. 1576 Experts can be excluded or objected to for the same reasons as witnesses.

Can. 1577 §1 The judge in his decree must define the specific terms of reference to be considered in the expert's task, taking into account whatever may have been gathered from the litigants.

§2 The expert is to be given the acts of the case, and any documents and other material needed for the proper and faithful discharge of his or her duty.

§3 The judge, after discussion with the expert, is to determine a time for the completion of the examination and the submission of the report.

Can. 1578 §1 Each expert is to complete a report distinct from that of the others, unless the judge orders that one report be drawn up and signed by all of them. In this case, differences of opinion, if there are such, are to be faithfully noted.

§2 Experts must clearly indicate the documents or other appropriate means by which they have verified the identity of persons, places or things. They are also to state the manner and method followed in fulfilling the task assigned to them, and the principal arguments upon which their conclusions are based.

§3 If necessary, the expert may be summoned by the judge to supply further explanations.

Can. 1579 §1 The judge is to weigh carefully not only the expert's conclusions, even when they agree, but also all the other circumstances of the case.

§2 When he is giving the reasons for his decision, the judge must state on what grounds he accepts or rejects the conclusions of the experts.

Can. 1580 Experts are to be paid their expenses and honorariums. These are to be determined by the judge in a proper and equitable manner, with due observance of particular law.

Can. 1581 §1 Parties can designate their own experts, to be approved by the judge.

§2 If the judge admits them, these experts can inspect the acts of the case, in so far as required for the discharge of their duty, and can be present when the appointed experts fulfil their role. They can always submit their reports.




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