Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Private response on the right to appoint one’s own procurator and advocate in judicial cases, 2 March 2017, Prot. N. 15822/2017.
Pontificium Consilium de Legum Textibus
Prot. N. 15822/2017
Vatican City, 2 March 2017
Most Esteemed Advocate,
As regards your question about the validity, after the Rescript of 7 December 2015, of the provisions of can. 1481 §1 CIC (cf. can. 1139 §1 CCEO) regarding the freedom of the procedural parties to choose their own advocates or procurators, this Pontifical Council is in a position to announce the following.
It is the right of every member of the faithful to freely choose his own advocate and legal representative of trust in the canonical processes, as stipulated by the aforementioned canons and taking into account the other norms of the Church. There is no other legal interpretation contrary to the aforementioned rescript of the Holy Father. Consequently, any practices that contradict these freedoms and that have been introduced in any locale must necessarily be changed.
In the hope of having sufficiently answered your question, profit of the circumstance to confirm me with a sense of distinct esteem, I take this occasion to confirm my distinct esteem,
Francisco Card. Coccopalmerio
+Juan Ignacio Arrieta
Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Private response on the right to appoint one’s own procurator and advocate in judicial cases, 2 March 2017, Prot. N. 15822/2017. English translation by Msgr. John A. Renken. Accessed 22 December 2019: http://www.delegumtextibus.va/content/dam/testilegislativi/risposte-particolari/Questionivariedidiritto/Circa%20il%20diritto%20delle%20parti%20di%20designare%20il%20proprio%20Avvocato%20nelle%20cause%20giudiziari.pdf