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Judges and Notaries

Judges and Notaries

(p.371) * Nine * Judges and Notaries
The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession
University of Chicago Press

The presiding officer of the consistory court of a bishop or lesser prelate was an ordinary judge usually styled the “official.” Prelates by definition possessed the right of “ordinary jurisdiction,” which is to say that they were the usual and customary judges of disputes or disciplinary infractions among the faithful who were subject to them. At the pinnacle of the church's hierarchy, the pope claimed ordinary jurisdiction over all Christians, although in practice he normally authorized the auditors of the Roman Rota, the Audientia litterarum contradictarum, and other papal tribunals to exercise it on his behalf. Similarly, archbishops, bishops, abbots, archdeacons, deans, and other lesser prelates routinely deputized officials and commissary judges to deal with most matters that fell under their jurisdiction.

Keywords:   presiding officer, bishops, judges, prelates, church, pope, Roman Rota, papal tribunals, consistory court, ordinary jurisdiction

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