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The Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Sentence Review Commissioners) Rules 1998

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19.—(1) At the beginning of the hearing the Commissioner shall explain the order of proceeding which they propose to adopt.

(2) Subject to this rule, the Commissioner shall conduct the hearing in such manner as they consider most suitable to the clarification of the issues before them and generally to the just handling of the case and they shall, so far as appears to them appropriate, seek to avoid formality in the proceedings.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (7), the parties shall be entitled to appear and be heard at the hearing and take such part in the proceedings as the Commissioner consider appropriate and the parties may:

(a)make submissions;

(b)hear each other’s evidence and submissions;

(c)put questions to each other;

(d)call any witnesses who the Commissioner have authorised to give evidence in accordance with rule 21; and

(e)put questions to any witness appearing at the hearing.

(4) Subject to rule 10, the parties may not, without the leave of the Commissioner, make submissions or rely on or refer to documents, information or evidence which do not appear in substance in the application papers or the response papers.

(5) The Commissioners may require any person present at the hearing who is, in their opinion, behaving in a disruptive manner to leave and may permit him to return, if at all, only on such conditions as they may direct.

(6) The Commissioners may receive in evidence any document or information notwithstanding that such document or information would be inadmissible in a court of law.

(7) The Commissioners shall require the person concerned, his representative, any witness appearing for him and any other person they think appropriate, to leave the hearing where argument is being heard or evidence is being examined which includes or relates to any damaging information.

(8) Where the person concerned and his representative are required to leave the hearing pursuant to paragraph (7), the Commissioner shall adjourn the proceedings so that consideration can be given to appointing a person to represent the interests of the person concerned in accordance with paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 2 to the Act.

(9) After all the evidence has been heard by the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall allow an opportunity for closing submissions to be made by or on behalf of the parties in the order the Commissioner consider appropriate.

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