What is a canon lawyer and how to become one ?
The profession of canon lawyers is not regulated like those of judges or other members of an ecclesiastical tribunal, nor by the civil law which does not recognize them.
The status of canonist lawyer
The canonist lawyer can be a lawyer, notary or ecclesiastical lawyer. Some canonist lawyers are approved by an official or by the Vatican directly, while others are registered at the bar of a civil court.
Others are found in canon law canon law and in civil law, officiating in both spheres.
The formation of a canonist lawyer
A training in mediation is very useful for those who wish to become a canonist lawyer: you will learn how to listen, to reformulate, to develop your empathy, to propose non-offensive solutions.
Then we have to integrate a formation within the faculty of canon law. The award of the University Certificate in Canon Law is a recognized diploma that can be completed with an internship accompanied by a tutor to start alone.
Training in "classical" law may well be appropriate to begin a career as a canon lawyer, but additional training in canon law will always be required.
What does a canonist lawyer do?
An ecclesiastical lawyer - his activity is voluntary, let us recall - accompanies his client throughout a procedure of recognition of nullity that he wishes to initiate before the court of the Church.
He will help his client to research, to analyse the facts that led him to marry, to separate or even to divorce.
It should be noted that the "nullity of marriage" activity represents 98% of the work of a canonist lawyer.
The remaining 2% represent disputes concerning Church property or problems related to religious, priests or religious communities.
The canonist advocate, also known as advocatus, does not have a very clear role: in France, the principle of separation of churches and of the State simply forbids churches to intervene in the affairs of the State and vice versa.
This is why the Catholic Church has its own right called canon law and appropriate courts (formalities) that are called upon to judge spiritual causes.
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