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Act of Sederunt (Fatal Accident Inquiry Rules) 2017

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Agreeing information

Joint minutes of agreement

4.10.—(1) It is not necessary for the participants to present information to the inquiry concerning—

(a)a fact agreed by all participants;

(b)a production, the terms and application of which are agreed by all participants.

(2) An agreement is made by lodging a joint minute of agreement.

(3) A joint minute of agreement must be signed by each participant or by that participant’s representative.

(4) Where any participant is not legally represented, a joint minute of agreement must be approved by the sheriff.

The duty to agree information

4.11.—(1) Before the start of the inquiry, each participant must identify information which—

(a)that participant would, apart from this rule, present at the inquiry; and

(b)is considered by that participant unlikely to be disputed by other participants.

(2) The participants must take all reasonable steps to agree such information.

(3) In particular, the participants must take all reasonable steps to agree the following—

(a)the name, age, address and occupation of the deceased;

(b)the location, date and time of the deceased’s death;

(c)the circumstances in which the death was discovered;

(d)the identity of any person who witnessed the accident or discovered the deceased’s body;

(e)the name of the doctor who pronounced the death of the deceased;

(f)in the case of a death falling within section 2(3) (death in the course of employment in Scotland)—

(i)the name and address of the deceased’s employer;

(ii)the length of period of employment;

(iii)the nature of employment; and

(iv)the deceased’s employment duties at the time of death;

(g)in the case of a death falling within section 2(4)(a) (death in legal custody)—

(i)the offence committed, date of conviction and time spent in custody;

(ii)the offence alleged to have been committed, the date and place of remand and the reasons for that remand; or

(iii)the reasons for the deceased being in legal custody;

(h)in the case of a death within article 6 of the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2016(1) (death in Scotland of service personnel)—

(i)the length of period of service;

(ii)the nature of service; and

(iii)the deceased’s service duties at the time of death;

(i)any post-mortem report; and

(j)any toxicology report.

Notices to admit information

4.12.—(1) This rule applies where the sheriff orders that notices to admit information must be intimated by a particular date.

(2) A participant (referred to in this rule as “the first participant”) may prepare a notice to admit information in Form 4.12A.

(3) The notice must set out facts or productions which—

(a)the first participant would, apart from this rule, seek to present at the inquiry; and

(b)are considered by the first participant unlikely to be disputed or the terms and application of which are unlikely to be disputed by other participants.

(4) The first participant must intimate a copy of the notice, along with a copy of any production referred to in the notice, to all other participants by the date ordered by the sheriff.

(5) Each other participant may object to any fact or production set out in the notice by intimating to the first participant an objection in Form 4.12B within 7 days after the date on which the notice was intimated.

(6) It is not necessary for the participants to present information to the inquiry concerning a fact or production which no other participant objects to.

(7) Each other participant may present information relevant to, or in explanation of, a fact or document set out in a notice.

(8) On the application of any other participant, the sheriff may, if satisfied that there are circumstances justifying it, make an order that paragraph (6) does not apply to certain facts or productions in a notice.

Witness statements

4.13.—(1) This rule applies where the sheriff orders that the witness statement of a witness must be lodged by a particular date.

(2) A “witness statement” is a written statement—

(a)containing information which a person could present orally at an inquiry; and

(b)signed by that person.

(3) With the permission of the sheriff, the participant relying on the witness statement may, at the inquiry—

(a)ask questions of the witness which introduce, clarify or supplement the witness statement;

(b)ask questions of the witness which relate to new matters which have arisen since the witness statement was lodged.

(4) The witness statement must be made available for inspection by the public during the inquiry.

(5) Other participants may question the witness.

Video recordings

4.14.—(1) This rule applies where the sheriff orders that a witness is to present information at the inquiry by video recording, whether the video recording has already been made or not.

(2) The video recording must be lodged by a date ordered by the sheriff.

(3) The sheriff must make an order about—

(a)the format of the video recording and how it is to be played at the inquiry;

(b)if the video recording has not already been made, the right of participants to participate in its production;

(c)whether the witness also needs to attend the inquiry, to provide further information.

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