JCL Comprehensive Exam References
Review questions for JCL Comprehensive Exam
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Book VII - Processes
Part I - Trials in General (cc. 1400-1403)
- What is the object of a trial (c. 1400)?
- What kinds of cases does the Church adjudicate by proper and exclusive right (c. 1401)?
- What is the difference between the imposition and the declaration of a penalty (c. 1400 §1 2º)?
- What tribunals are governed by the canons of Book VII? What tribunals have their own special legislation (cc.
- Give some examples of cases reserved to the Pope or the Roman Rota (c. 1405).
- Although not mentioned in this part of the code, given an example of a case reserved to the Tribunal of the CDF.
- Even if the case is reserved to another Tribunal, what role does the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary play?
- Give an example of absolute and relative incompetence (c. 1406-1407).
- List several titles of competence for cases in general (cc. 1408-1414). List the titles of competence for marriage
cases (c. 1673).
- How does a particular tribunal claim competence, having excluded other tribunals by prevention (c. 1415)?
- Depending on the tribunals who may have a conflict of competence, which two tribunals does the code indicate can resolve the conflict (c. 1416)?
- What right does the Apostolic See have to call a case to itself (c. 1405 §1 4º, 1417 §2)? What right does a party
have to bring a case before the Apostolic See (c. 1417 §1)?
- Who judges the following cases: A bishop accused of a delict (c. 1405 §1)? A case of a person who claims to
have his reputation harmed by a bishop (c. 1405 §2)? A case of a financial dispute between a parish and a diocese (c.
- Which of the following describes the power exercised by the judicial vicar? Ordinary, delegated, proper,
vicarious, immediate, mediate, universal, territorial (cc. 1420 §§1 and 2, and 1469)?
- Describe the required qualifications and the principle duties for the following offices: Judicial Vicar, Adjutant
Judicial Vicar, Judge, Assessor, Advocate, Procurator, Promoter of Justice, Defender of the Bond, Notary
- Give an example of a case that may be judged by a single judge. Give an example of a case that must be judged by a
panel of at least three judges (c. 1425).
- What does the code say about the competence of a judge assigned to a court of second instance who decides to accept a
case as a judge in first instance (c. 1440)?
- What cases are judged by the Roman Rota or the supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (cc. 1444-1445)?
- What is the preferred way of resolving litigation to which a judge should always remain attentive (c. 1446)?
- In what cases should a judge withdraw from judging (c. 1448 §1)?
- What other members of the court are ex officio (not ex parte) and should also withdraw under similar
circumstances (c. 1448 §2)?
- Name some decisions that must be made expeditissime (cc. 1451, 1505 §4, 1513 §3, 1527 §2, and 1589 §1).
- What right of appeal do the parties have with respect to a decision that must be made expeditissime (c. 1629 5º)?
- The ministers of the tribunal can be punished for violating what obligations connected with their office (cc. 1455-1457)?
- What is a dilatory exception and a peremptory exception (cc. 1459 §2, 1462)?
- What is a fatalia legis (c. 1465)?
- What are the consequences of the fact that a judicial power of governance exercised by a judge is territorial (c.
- Who is permitted to bring an action in a trial (c. 1476)?
- Who represents a juridic person when the rights of that juridic person need to be vindicated (c. 1480)?
- Can a procurator or advocate place an act before a tribunal without a mandate (c. 1484)?
- What action can a procurator undertake only with a special mandate (c. 1485)?
- What is an action and an exception (c. 1491)?
Part II - The Contentious Trial
Section I - The Ordinary Contentious Trial
- What is a libellus (c. 1502)?
- Name some of the things required in a libellus (c. 1504)?
- Name some of the reasons for which a judge might reject a libellus (c. 1505 §2)?
- How is a libellus tacitly accepted (c. 1506)?
- Once the judge accepts the libellus, who must be cited (c. 1507)?
- What effect does the citation of the respondent have on the thing in question, on the competence of the judge, and on
prescription (c. 1512)?
- What is the significance of the contestatio litis (c. 1515)?
- Explain the difference between a trial that is suspended, abated, and renounced (cc. 1518, 1519, 1520, and 1524)?
- On whom does the burden of proof rest (c. 1526 §1)?
- What things do not require proof (c. 1526 §2)?
- What types of proofs are mentioned in the six chapters of this title?
- What inference can a judge draw from the refusal of one of the parties to answer questions (c. 1531 §2)?
- Who proposes questions to the parties (cc. 1530 and 1533)?
- What is a judicial confession (c. 1535)?
- Can a judicial confession of one of the parties have the force of full proof (c. 1536)?
- What is an extrajudicial confession (c. 1537)?
- What is the value of a public document in a trial (c. 1541)?
- Name some of the kinds of witnesses who are exempted from the obligation to testify, not permitted to testify, or
incapable (incapax) of testifying (cc. 1548 and 1550)?
- How many witnesses may a party present in a trial (c. 1553)?
- What factors does the judge weigh when determining the trustworthiness of witness testimony (c. 1572)?
- Under what circumstances can a qualified witness give testimony that constitutes full proof (c. 1573)?
- Explain what freedom the judge has to reject the conclusion of an expert, even if several experts are in agreement (c.
- Give an example of a legal presumption and a human presumption.
- What is an incidental case (c. 1587)?
- If an incidental question is introduced by one of the parties, what options does the judge have in terms of the manner by which he resolves the question and the time in which he resolves the question (cc. 1589-1590)?
- Who has a right to inspect the acts of the case (c. 1598)?
- Who has a right to submit a defense brief or observation at the conclusion of the case (cc. 1601-1603 and 1606)?
- What level of certitude must the judge reach? On what basis does the judge reach certitude? If the judge
does not reach certitude, the judge must pronounce in favor of who or what (c. 1608)?
- What things must be contained in the sentence (cc. 1611 and 1612)?
- What defects can render a sentence irremediably null (c. 1620)?
- What defects can render a sentence remediably null (c. 1622)?
- Give some examples of sentences or decrees which do not admit of appeal (c. 1629).
- What is a res iudicata?
- Give some examples of circumstances that result in a res iudicata (c. 1641).
- What is restitutio in integrum?
- What are some of the irregular circumstances that can result in a restitutio in integrum (c. 1645)?
- On whom does the duty fall to execute a sentence (c. 1653)?
Section II - The Oral Contentious Process (cc. 1656-1670)
- Give an example of a way in which a question handled by the oral contentious process is treated more quickly than the
ordinary contentious trial (cc. 1657, 1659, 1667, 1668, and 1629 4º).
Part III - Certain Special Processes
- (Unless you have answered this question above) give the four titles of competence in marriage cases (c. 1673).
- Who has the right or duty to submit a marriage nullity case to the appellate tribunal of second instance if an
affirmative sentence is given in first instance? What if a negative sentence is given in first instance (c. 1682)?
- What is the documentary process and when may it be used (c. 1686)?
- Who instructs a ratum et non consummatum case; who adjudicates it; and who grants the dispensation (cc.
- Why is the process for a ratum et non consummatum case called a dispensation and not a case of marriage nullity?
- How is a declaration of nullity of sacred ordination different from a laicization (rescript reducing the cleric to the
lay state) mentioned in canon 290, 3º?
- What effect do these two processes have on a clerics obligation of celibacy (cc. 1712, 290 1º, and 291)?
Part IV - The Penal Process (cc. 1717-1731)
- What standard must be met for a preliminary investigation to be initiated (c. 1717 §1)?
- Who initiates a preliminary investigation (c. 1717 §1)?
- What decisions must this person make when the preliminary investigation is concluded (c. 1718)?
- Describe the steps in an extrajudicial process decided by decree (c. 1720).
- If a judicial penal process is to be initiated, who acts as the petitioner and what action must this person take (c.
- What are some of the precautionary restrictions that an ordinary may impose to prevent scandal, protect the freedom of
witnesses, or to guard the course of justice (c. 1722)?
- List several ways in which the rights of the accused are safeguarded in the penal process (c. 1723, 1725, 1726, 1727 §1,
and 1728 §2).
Part V - The Method of Proceeding in Administrative Recourse and in the Removal or Transfer of Pastors
- If a person feels aggrieved by a decree of a diocesan bishop, to whom must the person first go to seek relief (c. 1734)?
- What is the purpose of requesting a "suspension of the execution of a decree" in the context of hierarchical recourse?
- What is the difference between appeal and recourse?
- List several different "hierarchical superiors" who should be approached with a petition for recourse depending on the
circumstances of a case (c. 1737)?
- What is a hierarchical superior permitted to do or not permitted to do when dealing with a petition for recourse (c.
- What is the difference between the removal, the privation, and the transfer of a pastor from office?
- What burden of proof must a diocesan bishop reach in order to remove a pastor from office (c. 1740)?
- Give several examples of causes for which a pastor might be removed from office (c. 1741)?
- What burden of proof must a diocesan bishop reach in order to transfer a pastor to another office (c. 1748)?
- Briefly describe the procedure to be followed in the removal of a pastor. Who must be consulted (c. 1742)?
- If a diocesan bishop seeks to remove a pastor from office, in what three ways can a pastor respond (cc. 1743, 1744, and
- What is the supreme law in the Church as indicated by the last canon in the code (c. 1752)?