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dures in Books VI and VII. This makes the work well worth purchasing by individuals and libraries with due regard for the above reservations. Thomas J. Green School of Canon Law The Catholic University of America Washington, DC EL PROCESO CONTENCIOSO DECLARATIVO DE NULIDAD DE MATRIMONIO CANÓNICO by Javier Escrivá Ivars. Pamplona, Spain: EUNSA, 2009. The cases presented for marriage annulments constitute an increasing pastoral concern in our modern day society. It is necessary for professionals dealing with these cases to have both proper understanding and theoretical knowledge in this field, in order to ensure that the process is conducted correctly, expeditiously, and fairly. This particular book is an outstanding guide to addressing the canonical process for marriage cases. The introduction explains the book’s intended purpose: to expound on the fundamental criteria of the process used for declaring the invalidity of marriage cases. This guide can be used as a learning tool for students, as well as a reference guide for future professionals in Marriage Canon Law. The content is divided in three sections: the first section describes step by step the contentious process for marriage annulments and includes an excellent bibliography; the second section contains samples of each of the documents to be handled in a marriage case; and the third section provides the list and directory of all the ecclesiastical tribunals in Spain. The first section is of great pedagogical value. The reader will find a description of how a case has to be presented, the characteristics of the petition, the required documentation, as well as the solemnities to be observed by the parties involved and the tribunal officials. It also explains the steps of process that are required from the beginning to the end. The author also provides important concepts in the theory of procedural law. The language used in the work is understandable for those familiar with canon law and its terminology. Some expressions, more commonly used in Spain, appear from time to time. In explaining the procedures, the book reviews 263 264 the jurist author distinguishes clearly all the actions that are required by law, from the suggestions he makes for facilitating the finding of the truth to the expeditious completion of the process. Another aspect of great value is that the author integrates the criteria given by the instruction Dignitas connubii in his reflections and includes in the footnotes helpful commentaries about the document, together with practical suggestions for its implementation in the procedural field. An example of this is the author’s explanation about the use of experts and their potential contribution to the process, the requirements of the law regarding the personal qualities of the experts, and the conditions for accepting the expert’s report as a judicial proof. Although the text explains the description of the sequence of the process used, the reader may still require more examples for explaining practical ways of addressing typical tribunal problems. Nevertheless, the few but helpful examples offered in the book identify the various situations that may occur during an annulment process. For example the possible attitudes of the respondent to the petition and the various degrees of obligation by the officials in observing secrecy about the knowledge acquired during the process. The bibliography included in the first section contains a list of sixtyone authors, some of them offering more than one work. In the list are included eleven works written by several authors either in Spanish, Italian, or French. They address important topics in procedural matrimonial law. The list ends by providing two web pages for updating the bibliography. The second section presents fifty samples of the formularies to be used during a process, including the brief of the advocate and a sample of the first instance tribunal sentence. There are also formularies for cases that require procedures before Spanish civil courts. Among them the reader finds the sample for the agreement that regulates the parental-filial and patrimonial relationships, and the petition to a Spanish civil court for civil effects of a canonical sentence. Although these last formularies are of specific interest for tribunals in Spain, they can be helpful also as references for tribunals operating in countries where the Catholic...


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pp. 263-265
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