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Canon Law Webinars - Challenges for interrogating parties and witnesses – can video-conferencing technology be used to instruct marriage cases especially when parties and witnesses live outside the diocese?

Dr. Michael-Andreas Nobel

29 September 2021

2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST


The recording will expire 150 days after the day of the webinar. 



In marriage nullity procedures, oftentimes tribunals make use rogatorial commissions according to canon 1418 and submit a questionnaire to the diocesan tribunal of the place of residence of a party or witness of a case. Some tribunals, unfortunately, send questionnaires by postal mail to a person concerned; in addition to many disadvantages, the Holy See does not support the idea of sending questionnaires by postal mail. In addition, the Holy See remains silent on the use of instructions done by phone. In this webinar, appropriate means of instructing a case will be discussed. We will also look at a rescript of the Apostolic Signatura from 1974 that permitted Canadian tribunals to interrogate parties and witnesses of a case if they live in another jurisdiction. We will also have a look at a recent response of the Apostolic Signatura, permitting during the time of COVID-19, if a tribunal does seek dispensation, the use of video conferencing technologies to conduct the instruction of a case. In case video conferencing technologies are used and a party or witness of a case lives in another jurisdiction, do we apply canon 1469?



Michael Nobel has been teaching Canon Law at Saint Paul University since 2007 in English and French, both in the classroom and on-line.

He is specialized in General Norms, Teaching Office, Procedural Law, and Jurisprudence.
Besides teaching canon law at Saint Paul University, he works in various diocesan tribunals where he applies canon law to practical cases, assists tribunal staff, etc.

This webinar will reflect a section of his new book: The Use of Means of Social Communication in the Context of Procedural Law. Questions and Suggestions on the Advantages of Using the Internet at Local Tribunals for Marriage Cases in the Canadian Context, Montreal, Wilson & Lafleur, 2021.


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