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Fair Employment Tribunal (Rules of Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004

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Pre-hearing review

7.  (1)  A tribunal may at any time before the hearing of an originating application, on the application of a party made by notice to the Secretary or of its own motion, conduct a pre-hearing review, consisting of a consideration of –

(a)the contents of the originating application and notice of appearance;

(b)any representations in writing; and

(c)any oral argument advanced by or on behalf of a party.

(2) If a party applies for a pre-hearing review and the tribunal determines that there shall be no review, the Secretary shall send notice of the determination to that party.

(3) A pre-hearing review shall not take place unless the Secretary has sent notice to the parties giving them an opportunity to submit representations in writing and to advance oral argument at the review if they so wish.

(4) If upon a pre-hearing review the tribunal considers that the contentions put forward by any party in relation to a matter required to be determined by a tribunal have no reasonable prospect of success, the tribunal may make an order against that party requiring the party to pay a deposit of an amount not exceeding £500 as a condition of being permitted to continue to participate in the proceedings relating to that matter.

(5) No order shall be made under this rule unless the tribunal has taken reasonable steps to ascertain the ability of the party against whom it is proposed to make the order to comply with such an order, and has taken account of any information so ascertained in determining the amount of the deposit.

(6) An order made under this rule, and the tribunal’s reasons for considering that the contentions in question have no reasonable prospect of success, shall be recorded in summary form in a document signed by the chairman. A copy of that document shall be sent to each of the parties and shall be accompanied by a note explaining that if the party against whom the order is made persists in participating in proceedings relating to the matter to which the order relates, he may have an award of costs made against him and could lose his deposit.

(7) If a party against whom an order has been made does not pay the amount specified in the order to the Secretary either –

(a)within the period of 21 days of the day on which the document recording the making of the order is sent to him; or

(b)within such further period, not exceeding 14 days, as the tribunal may allow in the light of representations made by that party within the said period of 21 days,

the tribunal shall strike out the originating application or notice of appearance of that party or, as the case may be, the part of it to which the order relates.

(8) The deposit paid by a party under an order made under this rule shall be refunded to him in full except where rule 12(7) applies.

(9) No member of a tribunal which has conducted a pre-hearing review shall be a member of the tribunal at the hearing of the originating application.

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