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Code of Canon Law
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CHAPTER II : SINGULAR DECREES AND PRECEPTS
Can. 48 A singular decree is an administrative act issued by a competent executive authority, whereby in accordance with the norms of law a decision is given or a provision made for a particular case; of its nature this decision or provision does not presuppose that a petition has been made by anyone.
Can. 49 A singular precept is a decree by which an obligation is directly and lawfully imposed on a specific person or persons to do or to omit something, especially in order to urge the observance of a law.
Can. 53 If decrees are contrary one to another, where specific matters are expressed, the specific prevails over the general; if both are equally specific or equally general, the one later in time abrogates the earlier insofar as it is contrary to it.
Can. 54 §1 A singular decree whose application is entrusted to an executor, has effect from the moment of execution; otherwise, from the moment when it is made known to the person on the authority of the one who issued it.
§2 For a singular decree to be enforceable, it must be made known by a lawful document in accordance with the law.
Can. 55 Without prejudice to cann. 37 and 51, whenever a very grave reason prevents the handing over of the written text of a decree, the decree is deemed to have been made known if it is read to the person to whom it is directed, in the presence of a notary or two witnesses - a record of the occasion is to be drawn up and signed by all present.
Can. 56 A decree is deemed to have been made known if the person to whom it is directed has been duly summoned to receive or to hear the decree, and without a just reason has not appeared or has refused to sign.
Can. 57 §1 Whenever the law orders a decree to be issued, or when a person who is concerned lawfully requests a decree or has recourse to obtain one, the competent authority is to provide for the situation within three months of having received the petition or recourse, unless a different period of time is prescribed by law.
§2 If this period of time has expired and the decree has not yet been given, then as far as proposing a further recourse is concerned, the reply is presumed to be negative.
§3 A presumed negative reply does not relieve the competent authority of the obligation of issuing the decree, and, in accordance with can. 128, of repairing any harm done.
§2 A singular precept, which was not imposed by a lawful document, ceases on the expiry of the authority of the person who issued it.
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