Canon 1420 of the Code of Canon Law reads in part:
§1. Each diocesan bishop is bound to appoint a judicial vicar, or officialis, with ordinary power to judge, distinct from the vicar general unless the small size of the diocese or the small number of cases suggests otherwise.
§2. The judicial vicar constitutes one tribunal with the bishop but cannot judge cases which the bishop reserves to himself.
The Judicial Vicar, with Bishop Libasci, forms the Tribunal of the Diocese of Manchester. In that capacity he oversees the cases and trials that are brought to the Tribunal for adjudication. The Judicial Vicar is assisted in his ministry by Ecclesiastical Judges, the Defender of the Bond, the Promoter of Justice, Advocates, Auditors, Experts and Notaries. Most of the cases brought before the Tribunal of the diocese involve challenges to the canonical validity of marriage, the Tribunal court also acts as the competent forum for other issues, such as the protection of the rights and obligations of the faithful as well as penal matters.
The Tribunal of Manchester provides educational services to the faithful and personnel in the deaneries and parishes of the Diocese in the form of workshops, lectures, and presentations relative to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, as well as diocesan policies, procedures, and particular law.
Father Georges de Laire is the Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Manchester.