TSC 523 Tribunal and Church Privacy Issues

Faculty: Rev. Jude Onogbosele, J.C.D. (Profile)


The issue of privacy in Ecclesiastical Tribunals is more complex that it first seems. The petitioner, the witnesses, and any experts consulted may seek privacy for their statements to the tribunal to prevent retaliation and even civil involvement. The respondent and the advocate need to see the acts of the case to insure their “right of defense.” Civil authorities may become involved. The Code of Canon Law provides that the parties can inspect the case at “Publication”. The Code allows the parties to inspect the Definitive Sentence, under pain of nullity. The ultimate goal of this tutorial is to understand how the “right to privacy” and the “right to defense” interact in Church law.

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