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Act of Sederunt (Fatal Accident Inquiry Rules) 2017

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Lay representation of non-natural persons at inquiries

20.—(1) This section applies where a non-natural person is a participant at an inquiry.

(2) A lay representative may, if the sheriff grants permission, conduct the inquiry proceedings on behalf of the non-natural person.

(3) The sheriff may grant permission if satisfied that—

(a)the non-natural person is unable to pay for the services of a legal representative to conduct the inquiry proceedings;

(b)the lay representative is a suitable person to conduct the inquiry proceedings; and

(c)it is in the interests of justice to grant permission.

(4) For the purposes of subparagraph (3)(b), a lay representative is a suitable person to conduct the proceedings if—

(a)the lay representative holds a relevant position with the non-natural person;

(b)the responsibilities of the lay representative in that position do not consist wholly or mainly of conducting legal proceedings on behalf of the non-natural person or another person;

(c)the lay representative is authorised by the non-natural person to conduct the inquiry proceedings;

(d)the lay representative does not have a personal interest in the subject matter of the inquiry proceedings; and

(e)the lay representative is not the subject of an order of the sheriff preventing a lay representative from conducting any proceedings before any sheriff on behalf of non-natural persons.

(5) In subparagraph (4)(d), “personal interest” means an interest other than one that anyone holding the position that the lay representative holds with the non-natural person would have.

(6) For the purposes of subparagraph (3)(c), in deciding whether it is in the interests of justice to grant permission, the sheriff must have regard, in particular, to—

(a)the non-natural person’s interest in the inquiry proceedings; and

(b)the likely complexity of the inquiry proceedings.

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