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Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

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Hearings to be in private: exceptions

40.—(1) A hearing shall not be in private if—

(a)all the parties request that the hearing be in public; or

(b)the President, or the tribunal at a hearing, orders that the hearing should be in public.

(2) The following persons (as well as the parties and their representatives and witnesses) shall be entitled to attend the hearing of an appeal or a claim, even though it is in private—

(a)the child;

(b)subject to the provisions of paragraph (9), any person named by the parent in response to the enquiry under regulation 30(b) unless the President has determined that any such person should not attend the hearing and has notified the parent accordingly;

(c)a parent of the child who is not a party to the appeal or the claim;

(d)the clerk to the tribunal and the Secretary of the Tribunal;

(e)the President and a member of the chairman’s panel or lay panel (when not sitting as a member of the tribunal);

(f)a person undergoing training as a member of the chairman’s or lay panel or as a clerk to the tribunal;

(g)a person acting on behalf of the President in the training or supervision of clerks to the tribunal;

(h)an interpreter;

(i)any person giving other necessary assistance to a person sitting as a member of the tribunal or entitled to attend the hearing further to this regulation.

(3) The tribunal, with the consent of the parties or their representatives actually present, may permit any other person to attend the hearing of an appeal or a claim which is held in private.

(4) Without prejudice to any other powers it may have, the tribunal may exclude from the hearing, or part of it—

(a)a person whose conduct has disrupted or is likely, in the opinion of the tribunal, to disrupt the hearing;

(b)a person, including the child, whose presence is likely, in the opinion of the tribunal, to make it difficult for any person to adduce the evidence or make the representations necessary for the proper conduct of the appeal or claim;

(c)a representative or witness whom a party omitted to name, without reasonable cause, in response to the enquiry by the Secretary of the Tribunal under regulation 30.

(5) For the purposes of arriving at its decision a tribunal shall, and for the purpose of discussing a question of procedure may, notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations, order all persons to withdraw from the sitting of the tribunal other than the members of the tribunal and any of the persons mentioned in sub-paragraphs (d) to (g) of paragraph (2) or, as their respective duties require, sub-paragraphs (h) and (i), of that paragraph.

(6) Except as provided in paragraphs (7) and (8) none of the persons mentioned in paragraph (2) or (3) shall, save in the case of the persons specified in sub-paragraphs (d), (h) and (i) of paragraph (2) as their respective duties require, take any part in the hearing or (where entitled or permitted to remain) in the deliberations of the tribunal.

(7) The tribunal may permit the child to give evidence and to address the tribunal on the subject matter of the appeal or the claim.

(8) The tribunal may permit a parent of the child to give evidence and to address the tribunal on the subject matter of the appeal or the claim.

(9) Where the parent has named more than two persons in response to the enquiry under regulation 30(b) only two persons shall be entitled to attend the hearing unless the President, or the tribunal at a hearing gives permission for a greater number to attend.

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