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The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2005

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Excluding persons from hearings in exceptional circumstances

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68.—(1) Where the Convener or the Tribunal is satisfied that attendance of any person at the hearing or part of it may cause serious harm to the patient or any other person, the Convener or the Tribunal, as the case may be, may make a direction that such a person shall be excluded from the hearing or any part or it.

(2) The Convener or the Tribunal, as the case may be, may appoint a person having appropriate skills or experience to–

(a)assess whether such attendance by the patient or another person may cause serious harm; and

(b)report on the matter.

(3) The Tribunal shall pay to an expert appointed under paragraph (2) such an amount in respect of necessary expenses incurred in preparing and producing any report, as the President shall direct.

(4) Where the Convener or the Tribunal is considering making a direction under this rule, the Clerk shall invite the relevant persons to make written representations both as to the necessity of the direction and as to the availability of alternative measures, within such period as may be specified by the Convener.

(5) At the request of any relevant person in writing within that period, the Tribunal may afford the relevant persons an opportunity to be heard either by the Convener alone or with such other members as the Tribunal may direct.

(6) If the patient is the person who may be the subject of a direction under this rule, and does not have legal representation, the Tribunal shall invite the patient to seek an adjournment of the Tribunal’s consideration of the matter, in order to obtain legal representation and, if the patient does seek such an adjournment, shall grant it.

(7) A direction under paragraph (1) shall exclude the patient or other person only to the extent strictly necessary to prevent the harm apprehended by attendance and may be made only after taking into account any report under paragraph (2) and any representations made under paragraph (4) or (5).

(8) Where such a direction excluding the patient is made and the patient does not have a representative to represent their interests, the Tribunal may appoint a curator ad litem under rule 55(1).

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