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Response to notice of appealN.I.

6N.I.On receiving a notice of appeal the Appeals Board shall—

(a)send an acknowledgement of its receipt to the appellant; and

(b)subject to paragraphs 2(2) and 3, send a copy of the notice of appeal to the Commission.

7(1)The Commission shall send a response to the Appeals Board in the form required by this paragraph so that the response is received within six weeks, or such further time as the Appeals Board may allow, of the date on which the Commission received a copy of the notice of appeal sent in accordance with paragraph 6(b).N.I.

(2)The response shall contain—

(a)a copy of the decision which is the subject of the appeal;

(b)a succinct presentation of the arguments upon which the Commission will rely in opposing the notice of appeal;

(c)the relief sought by the Commission and any directions sought pursuant to paragraph 14; and

(d)a copy of the documents on which the Commission intends to rely and a schedule listing those documents.

(3)On receiving the response, the Appeals Board shall send a copy of the response to the appellant.

8N.I.If the Commission wishes to request confidential treatment for any part of its response, it shall indicate in the response, or within 14 days of sending it to the Appeals Board, the relevant passages or documents, together with the reasons for the request, and, if so directed by the Appeals Board, supply a non-confidential version of the response.

9(1)If the Appeals Board considers that the response does not comply with paragraph 7, or is incomplete, or is lacking in clarity, the Appeals Board may give such directions as may be necessary to ensure that the response is put in order and dealt with justly.N.I.

(2)The Appeals Board may, if satisfied that the efficient conduct of the proceedings so require, defer service of the response on the appellant until after the directions referred to in sub-paragraph (1) have been complied with.

10(1)The Appeals Board may, after hearing the parties, strike out the response at any stage in the proceedings if—N.I.

(a)it considers that the response discloses no valid ground of defence;

(b)the response does not comply with paragraph 7 in a substantial respect, and the Commission has not remedied the defect pursuant to a direction under paragraph 9(1); or

(c)the Commission fails to comply with a direction of the Appeals Board.

(2)When the Appeals Board strikes out a response it may make any consequential order it considers appropriate.

11(1)The Commission may amend the response only with the permission of the Appeals Board.N.I.

(2)Where the Appeals Board grants permission under sub-paragraph (1) it may do so on such terms as it thinks fit, and shall give such further or consequential directions as may be necessary.

(3)The Appeals Board shall not grant permission to amend the response in order to add a new ground for contesting the decision unless—

(a)such ground is based on matters which have come to light since the response was sent to the Appeals Board; or

(b)it was not practicable to include that ground in the response; or

(c)the circumstances are exceptional.]