A tribunal is the Church’s court in which legal acts and procedures are observed to solve disputes and questions. It is composed of judges, advocates, defenders, and others. Judicial trials are undertaken to pursue or vindicate rights, to declare juridic facts or to impose penalties.

All Christian faithful have access to the courts to vindicate and defend their rights. Church courts are carefully regulated by Canon Law. There are three levels of Church courts in law: the first is diocesan, the second is regional, and the third is the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

Diocesan courts deal primarily with matrimonial cases, or the adjudication of the validity or nullity of marriages.