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Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016

Pre-inquiry procedure

Section 17 – Notice of the inquiry

56.Once the date and location of the preliminary hearing and/or FAI hearing is fixed (in accordance with the sheriff’s powers under section 15), then section 17 places a duty on the procurator fiscal to notify those persons who the procurator fiscal considers to be persons who are entitled to participate in the FAI. Those who are entitled to be participants are set out in section 11. In addition, the procurator fiscal is also required to notify any person specified in, or in a category of person specified in, FAI rules. Subsection (3) provides that the procurator fiscal will also have to provide public notice of the FAI, the date and place of any preliminary hearing, and the date and place of the FAI.

57.The procurator fiscal is under a continuing duty to notify and publicise changes to the place or date of these matters, including notification of a preliminary hearing where the sheriff has reversed his or her decision not to hold one. For the avoidance of doubt, the procurator fiscal only has to notify directly those who appear to the procurator fiscal to be entitled to participate or whom he or she has to notify under FAI rules.

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