Just what are the roles within the tribunal?
The Judge’s duty is to read through the file which contains the testimonies and facts of a case and to come to a decision with moral certitude.
The Defender of the Bond upholds the marriage bond and states his case as to why there should be no annulment.
The Advocate is the person who ensures the rights of the plaintiff and respondent are safeguarded. He also puts forward the case of the plaintiff and respondent. The advocate for the plaintiff must be a different person from the advocate for the respondent.
The work of the Notary is to notarise all tribunal case documents. The signature of the notary authenticates all these documents.
The Tribunal of Second Instance is independent of the above-mentioned tribunal. This tribunal may ratify the annulment decision or differ from it. When the latter happens the case will go up to Rome for review and final decision.