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Magistrates' Courts (Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Welfare Officer

14.—(1) Where the court has directed that a written report be made by a welfare officer, the report shall be filed at or by such time as the court directs or, in the absence of such a direction, at least 14 days before a relevant hearing; and the clerk of petty sessions shall, as soon as practicable, serve a copy of the report on the parties and any guardian ad litem.

(2) In paragraph (1), a hearing is relevant if the clerk of petty sessions has given the welfare officer notice that his report is to be considered at it.

(3) After the filing of a written report by a welfare officer, the court may direct that the welfare officer attend any hearing at which the report is to be considered; and

(a)except where such a direction is given at a hearing attended by the welfare officer, the clerk of petty sessions shall inform the welfare officer of the direction; and

(b)at the hearing at which the report is considered any party may question the welfare officer about his report.

(4) This rule is without prejudice to the court’s power to give directions under rule 15.

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