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Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997

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Procedure at hearing of appeal

3.56—(1) Before proceeding in accordance with section 51(3) of the Act to examine the Principal Reporter and the authors or compilers of any reports or statements, the sheriff shall hear the appellant or his representative and any party to the appeal.

(2) On receipt of a further report called for under section 51(3)(c) of the Act, the sheriff shall direct the Principal Reporter to send a copy of the report to every party to the appeal.

(3) At any appeal the sheriff may hear evidence–

(a)where a ground of the appeal is an alleged irregularity in the conduct of a hearing, as to that irregularity;

(b)in any other circumstances where he considers it appropriate to do so.

(4) Where the nature of the appeal or of any evidence is such that the sheriff is satisfied that it is in the interests of the child that he should not be present at any stage of the appeal, the sheriff may exclude the child from the hearing during that stage and, in that event, any safeguarder appointed and the relevant person or representative of the child shall be permitted to remain during the absence of the child.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), the sheriff may exclude the relevant person, or that person and any representative of his, or any such representative from any part or parts of the hearing for so long as he considers it is necessary in the interests of any child, where he is satisfied that–

(a)he must do so in order to obtain the views of the child in relation to the hearing; or

(b)the presence of the person or persons in question is causing, or is likely to cause, significant distress to the child.

(6) Where the relevant person has been excluded under paragraph (5) the sheriff shall, after that exclusion has ended, explain to him the substance of what has taken place in his absence and shall give him an opportunity to respond to any evidence given by the child by leading evidence or otherwise.

(7) Where an appeal has been heard in part and a safeguarder thereafter becomes a party to the appeal, the sheriff may order the hearing of the appeal to commence of new.

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