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Processes » Trials in General » Different Grades and Kinds of Tribunals » The tribunal of the second instance
Canon 1438. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1444, §1, n. 1:

1. from the tribunal of a suffragan bishop, appeal is made to the metropolitan tribunal, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1439;

2. in cases tried in first instance before the metropolitan, appeal is made to the tribunal which the metropolitan has designated in a stable manner with the approval of the Apostolic See;

3. for cases tried before a provincial superior, the tribunal of second instance is under the authority of the supreme moderator; for cases tried before the local abbot, the tribunal of second instance is under the authority of the abbot superior of the monastic congregation.
Canon 1439. §1. If a single tribunal of first instance has been established for several dioceses according to the norm of can. 1423, the conference of bishops must establish a tribunal of second instance with the approval of the Apostolic See unless the dioceses are all suffragan of the same archdiocese.

§2. With the approval of the Apostolic See, a conference of bishops can establish one or more tribunals of second instance in addition to the cases mentioned in §1.

§3. Over the tribunals of second instance mentioned in §§1-2, the conference of bishops or the bishop it designates has all the powers which a diocesan bishop has over his own tribunal.
Canon 1440. If competence by reason of grade according to the norm of cann. 1438 and 1439 is not observed, the incompetence of the judge is absolute.
Canon 1441. The tribunal of second instance must be established in the same way as the tribunal of first instance.

Nevertheless, if a single judge rendered a sentence in the first instance of the trial according to can. 1425, §4, the tribunal of second instance is to proceed collegially.

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