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Act of Sederunt (Fatal Accident Inquiry Rules) 2017

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Lay representation and support

Lay representation: applications

15.—(1) In paragraphs 15 to 18 a reference to a participant is a reference to a participant other than a procurator fiscal.

(2) A participant who is an individual may be represented by a lay representative.

(3) A participant is represented by a lay representative if that participant is represented by a person who is not a solicitor or an advocate.

(4) A participant may apply to the sheriff for permission to be represented by a lay representative.

(5) The sheriff may grant an application only if it is considered that it would assist the effective administration of the inquiry to do so.

(6) Where the sheriff grants permission, the sheriff may—

(a)do so in respect of one or more specified hearings; and

(b)withdraw permission of the sheriff’s own accord or on the application of any participant.

Lay representation: functions, conditions and duties

16.—(1) A participant must appear along with the lay representative at any hearing where the lay representative is to make oral submissions.

(2) A participant may show any document or communicate any information about the inquiry proceedings to that participant’s lay representative without contravening any prohibition or restriction on disclosure of the document or information.

(3) Where a document or information is disclosed under subparagraph (2), the lay representative is subject to any prohibition or restriction on disclosure in the same way that the participant is.

(4) A lay representative must not receive directly or indirectly from the participant any remuneration or other reward for assisting the participant.

Lay support: application

17.—(1) A participant who is an individual may apply to the sheriff for permission for a named person to assist the participant in the conduct of inquiry proceedings, and such a person is to be known as a lay supporter.

(2) The sheriff may refuse an application only if in the sheriff’s opinion—

(a)the named person is an unsuitable person to act as a lay supporter (whether generally or in the proceedings concerned); or

(b)it would be contrary to the efficient administration of the inquiry to grant it.

(3) The sheriff, if satisfied that it would be contrary to the efficient administration of the inquiry for permission to continue, may withdraw permission—

(a)of the sheriff’s own accord; or

(b)on the application of any participant.

Lay support: functions, conditions and duties

18.—(1) A lay supporter may assist a participant by accompanying the participant at inquiry hearings.

(2) A lay supporter may, if authorised by the participant, assist the participant by—

(a)providing moral support;

(b)helping to manage inquiry documents and other papers;

(c)taking notes of the inquiry proceedings; and

(d)quietly advising on—

(i)points of law and procedure; and

(ii)issues which the participant might wish to raise with the sheriff.

(3) A participant may show any document or communicate any information about the inquiry proceedings to that participant’s lay supporter without contravening any prohibition or restriction on disclosure of the document or information.

(4) Where a document or information is disclosed under subparagraph (3), the lay supporter is subject to any prohibition or restriction on disclosure in the same way that the participant is.

(5) A lay supporter must not receive directly or indirectly from the participant any remuneration or other reward for assisting the participant.

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