The papal transitions of 2005 and 2013 and the elections of Pope Benedict XVI (2005) and Pope Francis (2013) sparked a great media interest. In this contribution, the author makes an analysis of the current legislation governing the vacant Roman See and the election of the supreme pontiff. The analysis includes the most recent legislation promulgated by Benedict XVI in 2013 shortly before the vacancy caused by his own resignation. First, the author focuses on the various reasons for a vacancy to occur, in particular death and resignation. After a short historical overview of the development of the legislation surrounding the vacancy of the see of Rome and the election of the new bishop of Rome, the author then looks at the various powers and offices during the vacancy of the Apostolic See. The last part of this study deals in detail with the various aspects of the election process.