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Flashcards in Processes - Vocabulary (Prepared: Hastings) Deck (158)
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Material Law

law which is statutory or substantive. This is the type of law which defines rights and duties. It is opposed to formal law, which is procedural.


formal law

law which instructs one on how to proceed in applying material law; book VII. This describes the rules to be followed in processes.


Bonum publicum – common good

the sum total of the conditions of social life that enable groups and individuals to realize their ends



the respondent in a penal trial; the petitioner is the Promoter of Justice.


act, administrative

an action by one having ordinary or delegated executive power within the scope of their munus. (Note liberty here; should be directed to good of community and purposes of office.)


act, juridic

a lawful, legitimately manifested human act by which a person intends to produce a juridical effect determined by known law.
1. Must be a human act performed by someone legally able (habilis)
2. Must be contain essential elements
3. Must fulfill requirements and formalities established by law. (So always licit.)


actio in actu primo

the first part of an action; the possibility of acting; an adjectival subjective right that may or may not be exercised.


actio in actu secundo

an instance; the actual exercise of an actio in actu primo by bringing it before a judge.



a means to protect a subjective right by which a party approaches the judicial forum to defend a right impugned outside of the judicial forum, e.g. you refuse to pay me money I am owed and I go to court asking them to defend and promote my right to receive the money.


action, cautionary

an action directed to the prevention of the violation of a law (1496-98).


action, condemnatory declarative

not sure what this is. Maybe the declaration of a fact that to which a penaly is attached? Is this the same a “declarative penal action”?


action, constituative declarative

an declarative action that creates a new judicial state by its decision, like the grant of restitutio in integro


action, contentious

an action directed to the vindication of rights of physical or juridic persons, or to the declaration of facts. Can concern the public or private good.


action, declarative

an action directed to the declaration of a judicial fact (e.g., was a judicial act valid: 124p1, 125, 126, 128, or reviewing an act of the R.P. with by his mandate 1405p2, or that matter that is res iudicata be restitutio in integro: 1646-7).


action, merely declarative

a declarative action that does not declare a penalty and does create a new judicial state, like the declaration that a judicial fact was not valid.


action, penal

an action directed to the imposition or declaration of penalties for offences committed. Always concerns the public good.


action, personal

an action that seeks a right in personam, arising from another persons obligation; e.g. a transitional deacon seeking orders withheld without canonical cause, 1037, or the transfer of rights, or the repayment of damages.


action, petitory

an action directed to the vindication of an matter or a object, or the pursuance of a right, e.g., I want the court to declare that something belongs to me but I’m not necessarily seeking its actual return to me.


action, possessory

an action directed to gaining possession of an object, to protecting a possession, or to the quasi-possession of a right (1496p2), e.g., I want the court to declare something belongs to me and I want this returned to me.


action, real

an action directed to the vindication of a right in rem, arising from my ownership of a material thing.


actions, conjunction of

strictly speaking, this is when one person brings several actions against another person in a single process (1493); for example, a person accusing a marriage of nullity on several grounds at once. Speaking loosely, we also use this for interconnection, when several cases with the same object or right are handled by one tribunal (1414).


acts, judicial

the collection of all the documents, both regarding procedures and proofs, that apply to a case and that the judge will consult to make his decision.


acts of the case

acts which regard proofs submitted for the instruction of a case.


acts, procedural

acts which regard the steps in the process, decisions made by the judge, and actions posted by the parties.


acts, publication of the

the stage of an instance where all the proofs collected during the instruction of the case are made available so the parties can examine them. This concludes when the parties have no more proofs to add and the judge publishes a decree stating this is the case.



a person approved by ecclesiastical authority who safeguards the right of a party by arguments regarding the law and facts. Like everyone in the process, “the advocate has to search for truth.” (Notes 6.5.2, cf. Pius XII to Rota, 1944).
1. Required in penal cases
2. Required in cases involving the minors and the public good, except marriage. Strongly recommended for marriage cases by DC 101.
3. Required in other cases when the judge deems it necessary.



the party appealing; acts as petitioner for the appeal



the party appealed against; acts as respondent for the appeal


Apostolic Signatura

the supreme tribunal of the Church.
1. The Apostolic Signatura gives final rulings on judicial matters. It does not receive appeals. However, it does:
a. Decide petitions for restitutio in integro, plaints of nullity, and other recourses against Rotal sentences.
b. Hear exceptions of suspicions Rotal judges and other accusations related to their duties.
c. Hear recourses related to the state of a person where the Rota has refused to grant a new hearing.
d. Conflicts of competence when the tribunals are not subject to the same appellate tribunal.
2. In its administrative section the Apostolic Signatura is the Church’s only administrative tribunal and is the final place for recourse against an administrative act. It also decides conflicts of competence between dicasteries.
3. The Apostolic Signatura also oversees the administration of justice in the church.
a. It supervises the activity of all tribunals and can discipline advocates and procurators.
b. It prorogates the competence of lower tribunals.
c. It grants judicial favors and decides if the Holy Father will accept cases submitted to his judgement.
d. It grants approval for interdiocesen tribunals and tribunals for cases reserved to the Apostolic See.



an expert advisor appointed by the judge to help him decide a case. An assessor is like an advocate for the judge. There can be one or two assessors, they are usually optional (except when a single judge is filling in for a case that should be heard by an collegial tribunal) and they can be lay people or clerics, and need not hold a canon law degree.