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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 VI: THE PUBLICATION OF THE ACTS, THE CONCLUSION OF THE CASE AND THE PLEADINGS (Cann. 1598 - 1606)
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TITLE VI: THE PUBLICATION OF THE ACTS, THE CONCLUSION OF THE CASE AND THE PLEADINGS (Cann. 1598 - 1606)

Can. 1598 §1 When the evidence has been assembled, the judge must, under pain of nullity, by a decree permit the parties and their advocates to inspect at the tribunal office those acts which are not yet known to them. Indeed, if the advocates so request, a copy of the acts can be given to them. In cases which concern the public good, however, the judge can decide that, in order to avoid very serious dangers, some part or parts of the acts are not to be shown to anyone; he must take care, however, that the right of defence always remains intact.

§2 To complete the evidence, the parties can propose other items of proof to the judge. When these have been assembled the judge can, if he deems it appropriate, again issue a decree as in §1.

Can. 1599 §1 When everything concerned with the production of evidence has been completed, the conclusion of the case is reached.

§2 This conclusion occurs when the parties declare that they have nothing further to add, or when the canonical time allotted by the judge for the production of evidence has elapsed, or when the judge declares that he considers the case to be sufficiently instructed.

§3 By whichever way the case has come to its conclusion, the judge is to issue a decree declaring that it is concluded.

Can. 1600 Only in the following situations can the judge, after the conclusion of the case, still recall earlier witnesses or call new ones, or make provision for other evidence not previously requested:

in cases in which only the private good of the parties is involved if all the parties agree;

in other cases, provided that the parties have been consulted, that a grave reason exists, and that all danger of fraud or subornation is removed;

in all cases, whenever it is probable that, unless new evidence is admitted, the judgement will be unjust for any of the reasons mentioned in can. 1645 §2, nn. 1 - 3.

§2 The judge can, however, command or permit the presentation of a document which, even without fault of the interested party, could not be presented earlier.

§3 New evidence is to be published according to can. 1598 §1.

Can. 1601 When the case has been concluded, the judge is to determine a suitable period of time for the presentation of pleadings and observations.

Can. 1602 §1 Pleadings and observations are to be in writing unless the judge, with the consent of the parties, considers it sufficient to have a discussion before the tribunal in session.

§2 If the pleadings and the principal documents are to be printed, the prior permission of the judge is required, and the obligation of secrecy, where it exists, is still to be observed.

§3 The directions of the tribunal are to be observed in questions concerning the length of the pleadings, the number of copies and other similar matters.

Can. 1603 §1 When the pleadings and observations have been exchanged, each party can make reply within a brief period of time determined by the judge.

§2 This right is given to the parties once only, unless for a grave reason the judge considers that the right to a second reply is to be given; if this right is given to one party, it is to be considered as given to the other as well.

§3 The promotor of justice and the defender of the bond have the right to respond to every reply of the parties.

Can. 1604 §1 It is absolutely forbidden that any information given to the judge by the parties or the advocates, or by any other persons, be excluded from the acts of the case.

§2 If the pleadings in the case are made in writing, the judge may, in order to clarify any outstanding issues, order that a moderate oral discussion be held before the tribunal in session.

Can. 1605 The notary is to be present at the oral discussion mentioned in cann. 1602 §1 and 1604 §2, so that, if the judge so orders, or the parties so request and the judge consents, the notary can immediately make a written report of what has been discussed and concluded.

Can. 1606 If the parties neglect to prepare their pleadings within the time allotted to them, or if they entrust themselves to the knowledge and conscience of the judge, and if at the same time the judge perceives the matter quite clearly from the acts and the proofs, he can pronounce judgement at once. He must, however, seek the observations of the promotor of justice and the defender of the bond if they were engaged in the trial.




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