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Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the first instance » The promoter of justice, the defender of the bond, and the notary
Canon 1430. A promotor of justice is to be appointed in the diocese for penal cases, and for contentious cases in which the public good may be at stake. The promotor is bound by office to safeguard the public good.
Canon 1431. §1 In contentious cases it is for the diocesan Bishop to decide whether the public good is at stake or not, unless the law prescribes the intervention of the promotor of justice, or this is clearly necessary from the nature of things.

§2 If the promotor of justice has intervened at an earlier instance of a trial, this intervention is presumed to be necessary at a subsequent instance.
Canon 1432. A defender of the bond is to be appointed in the diocese for cases which deal with the nullity of ordination or the nullity or dissolution of marriage. The defender of the bond is bound by office to present and expound all that can reasonably be argued against the nullity or dissolution.
Canon 1433. In cases in which the presence of the promotor of justice or of the defender of the bond is required, the acts are invalid if they were not summoned. This does not apply if, although not summoned, they were in fact present or, having studied the acts, able to fulfil their role at least before the judgement.
Canon 1434. Unless otherwise expressly provided:

1° whenever the law directs that the judge is to hear the parties or either of them, the promotor of justice and the defender of the bond are also to be heard if they are present;

2° whenever, at the submission of a party, the judge is required to decide some matter, the submission of the promotor of justice or of the defender of the bond engaged in the trial has equal weight.
Canon 1435. It is the Bishop’s responsibility to appoint the promotor of justice and defender of the bond. They are to be clerics or lay persons of good repute, with a doctorate or a licentiate in canon law, and of proven prudence and zeal for justice.
Canon 1436. §1 The same person can hold the office of promotor of justice and defender of the bond, although not in the same case.

§2 The promotor of justice and the defender of the bond can be appointed for all cases, or for individual cases. They can be removed by the Bishop for a just reason.
Canon 1437. §1 A notary is to be present at every hearing, so much so that the acts are null unless signed by the notary.

§2 Acts drawn up by notaries constitute public proof.

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