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RULES GOVERNING CONDUCT OF FDC HEARINGS (Regulation 80.9)
1. Where a Respondent does not admit the Complaint the proceedings shall become contested proceedings.
2. The FDC shall have overall control of the conduct of the proceedings and/or hearing.
3. To the extent that the FDC directs, the Complainant and the Respondent shall prepare in writing and serve upon the other party and the FDC a statement of it's case consisting of:
a. a statement of that party's case;
b. a summary of that party's evidence;
c. a statement or summary of issues between the parties;
d. a list and / or a summary of the documents relied upon;
e. any points of law with references and copies of authorities relied upon;
f. a statement or summary of any other matters likely to assist the resolution of the disputes or differences between the parties; and
g. any other document upon which it intends to rely.
4. The FDC may order any party to answer the other party's case and to give any reasons for disagreement therewith.
5. The FDC may direct the proceedings by deciding on what issues it requires evidence to be presented, the nature of the evidence that it requires and the way in which it receives that evidence. This can relate to documents and/or witness statements. The Chairperson of the FDC shall have the authority to deal with any interim applications relating to the conduct of the proceedings or any preliminary points of law unless the Chairperson determines that such applications must be heard before the full FDC in order to comply with the overriding objective as defined in Regulation 77.7.
6. Statements or answers shall contain sufficient detail for the other party to know the case it has to answer. If sufficient detail is not provided the FDC may of its own motion or at the request of the other party order the provision of such further information, clarification or elaboration as the FDC may think fit.
7. The FDC may order any party to lodge with The League a sum on account of costs. In considering whether to make such an order the FDC shall follow the principles set out in Section II of Part 25 of the Civil Procedure Rules as if the same were set out herein mutatis mutandis, save that any party may make the application (and not just a Respondent).
8. If a party fails to comply with any order made under these Regulations the FDC may make a peremptory order to the same effect providing such time for compliance with it as the FDC considers appropriate and setting out sanctions to be imposed if the defaulting party fails to comply with the peremptory order, including all or any of the following:
a. debar that party from relying on the matters in respect of which it is in default;
b. draw such adverse inferences from the act of non-compliance as the circumstances justify;
c. proceed to a reasoned award on the basis of such materials as have been properly provided to it.
9. The same procedures will be followed for any complaint made by the Respondent against the Complainant in their response filed under Regulation 80.6.
10. If the FDC is satisfied that there has been inordinate and inexcusable delay by either party in pursuing or defending any complaints and that delay:
a. gives rise, or is likely to give rise, to substantial risk that it is not possible to have a fair resolution of the issues in that claim or counterclaim; or
b. has caused, or is likely to cause, serious prejudice to the other party,
the FDC may, after hearing representations from all parties, make a reasoned award in favour of the non defaulting party.
11. The FDC may hear the parties their representatives and/or witnesses at any time or place and may adjourn the hearing for any period on the application of any party as it thinks fit.
12. The parties may choose such representation as they think fit for the conduct of the proceedings. The parties shall notify the FDC and the other parties to the proceedings of the identity of their representative no later than 14 days before any hearing. However, in the event that a party's representative shall be considered by the FDC to have unduly delayed or hindered those proceedings, the FDC may make an order debarring that representative from appearing on behalf of that party in those proceedings.
13. The Complainant will present their case and evidence in support first, followed by the Respondent unless, after hearing representations from all parties, the FDC feel that hearing the evidence in a different order is appropriate.
14. The witnesses may be questioned by the members of the FDC in addition to any questioning by the parties or their representatives.
15. The FDC may order any submission or speech by or on behalf of a party to be put into writing and delivered to it and to the other parties. Nothing in this regulation shall prohibit any party from presenting oral submissions before the FDC.
16. The FDC shall be entitled to proceed with any hearing in the absence of one or more parties provided they are satisfied that:
a. all reasonable steps have been taken to notify the absent party / parties of the hearing; and
b. the absent party / parties have not provided a reasonable excuse for their absence; and
c. they are able to resolve the complaints between the parties justly and fairly.
17. In the event that the FDC is not able to proceed in accordance with Rule 16 the FDC shall order that the hearing be adjourned to the next available date and may order that the absent party / parties meet the wasted costs of such an adjournment.
18. Expert evidence shall be restricted to that which is reasonably required to resolve the complaint. Therefore, no expert evidence shall be admissible except with the permission of the FDC. Permission may be given on such terms and conditions as the FDC may decide.
19. Where two or more parties wish to rely upon expert evidence on the same issue the FDC may order that there be the instruction of a single joint expert. In the absence of agreement on the identity or terms of instruction either party may apply to the FDC for an order setting out the choice and/or terms of appointment.
20. The FDC will not be required to apply the strict rules of evidence.
21. Any hearing in respect of a complaint shall be recorded so as to ensure that there is an accurate record of any such hearing in the event of a dispute regarding the conduct of that hearing.
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