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(1)Except as provided by this section, an appellant shall be entitled to be present, if he desires it, on the hearing of his appeal, although he may be in custody.
(2)A person in custody shall not be entitled to be present—
(a)where the appeal is on some ground involving a question of law alone; or
(b)on any proceedings preliminary or incidental to an appeal;
unless rules of court provide that he is to be so entitled or the Court of Appeal gives him leave to be present; nor shall he be so entitled where he is in custody in consequence of a finding of not guilty on the ground of insanity [F1or of a finding of unfitness to be tried].
[F2(2A)The Court of Appeal may at any time give a live link direction in relation to any proceedings at which the appellant is expected to be in custody but is entitled to be present.
(2B)For this purpose—
(a)a “live link direction” is a direction that the appellant (if he is being held in custody at the time of the proceedings) is to attend the proceedings through a live link from the place at which he is held; and
(b)“” means an arrangement by which the appellant is able to see and hear, and to be seen and heard by, the Court of Appeal (and for this purpose any impairment of eyesight or hearing is to be disregarded)
(2C)The Court of Appeal—
(a)shall not give a live link direction unless—
(i)the appellant has consented to the direction; and
(ii)any other party to the appeal has had the opportunity to make representations about the giving of such a direction; and
(b)may rescind a live link direction at any time before or during any proceedings to which it applies (whether of its own motion or on the application of a party).
(2D)The Court of Appeal must not give a live link direction unless—
(a)it has been notified by the Secretary of State that a live link is available between the Court and the institution at which the appellant is expected to be in custody; and
(b)the notice has not been withdrawn.]
F2(3)The power of the Court to pass sentence may be exercised notwithstanding that the appellant is for any reason not present.
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