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The Merchant Shipping (Section 52 Inquiries) Rules 1982

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7.—(1) The proceedings at the inquiry shall commence with the presentation on behalf of the Secretary of State of the case against the officer concerned.

(2) (a) The officer concerned shall have the right:

(i)to defend himself against the allegation, in person or otherwise;

(ii)to admit before or at any time after the commencement of the inquiry the allegation or any part of it made against him.

(b)Where more than one allegation is made against an officer his admission of an allegation or any part of it pursuant to sub-paragraph (a) above shall be without prejudice to his right to defend himself against any other allegation which he does not admit.

(3) Any party to the inquiry shall have the right in person or by a representative to make an opening statement, call witnesses, cross-examine witnesses called by other parties, tender evidence other than oral evidence and address the person appointed in such order as the person appointed may direct. If a party does not appear in person at the inquiry and is not represented by another person he may make representation in writing to the person appointed and such written representations shall be read out at the inquiry by or on behalf of the person appointed.

(4) Without prejudice to the admission of documents as secondary evidence allowed by statute or otherwise, affidavits, depositions, statutory declarations and other written evidence shall, unless the person appointed considers it unjust, be accepted as evidence at the enquiry.

(5) The person appointed may postpone or adjourn the hearing of the enquiry for such period as he thinks fit either of his own motion or upon the application of any party.

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