Procedure at hearing

41.—(1) At the beginning of the hearing the Chairman shall explain to the parties the order of proceedings which the panel proposes to adopt.

(2) Subject to this rule, the panel shall conduct the hearing in such manner as it considers most suitable to the clarification of the issues before it and generally to the just handling of the proceedings.

(3) The parties shall be heard in such order as the panel shall determine and they shall be entitled to give evidence, to call witnesses, to question any witnesses and to address the panel both on the evidence and generally on the subject matter of the appeal or the application, as the case may be.

(4) Where the hearing is in public the panel may direct—

(a)that the identity of a witness (other than a party) may, if the interests of justice require it, not be disclosed to the public; or

(b)where in the panel’s opinion it is strictly necessary, that some part of the hearing be held in private.

(5) Evidence before the panel may be given orally or, if the panel so directs, by written statement, but the panel may at any stage of the proceedings require the personal attendance of any maker of a written statement.

(6) The panel may receive evidence of any fact which appears to it to be relevant, notwithstanding that such evidence would be inadmissible in proceedings before a court of law, but shall not refuse to admit any evidence which is admissible at law and is relevant.

(7) At any hearing the panel may, if it is satisfied that it is just and reasonable to do so, permit a party to rely on grounds not stated in his notice of appeal or, as the case may be, notice of application, or his reply in either case and, in respect of an appellant, to adduce any evidence not presented to the respondent Health Authority before or at the time it took the disputed decision.

(8) The panel may require any witness to give evidence on oath or affirmation and for that purpose there may be administered an oath or affirmation in due form.