What are Directions? Directions either orally or in writing are the method by which Homeowner Housing Committees regulate the conduct or progress of the proceedings in a case before them. The provisions in Regulation 13 of The Homeowner Housing Panel (Applications and Decisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 deals with the provisions which apply to these. Individual Committees can decide themselves at any time to issue directions and commonly such Directions deal with such issues as • what documents need to be given to the other side and lodged (filed with the Panel) prior to the hearing; • which witnesses and documents the parties should bring to the hearing; • whether issues raised by the parties will be dealt with as preliminary matters, and in which order. If the points are more complex, a case management hearing may be fixed by the Committee. If Directions are issued they may require one party to do something but the Direction must be intimated on all parties. Regulation 13 specifies that a party to the proceedings can ask the Committee to give a Direction to another party. The President has issued a Practice Directions which must be followed by a party if they wish to ask the Committee for such a Direction. This is contained in Presidents Practice Direction No 1 and this Practice Direction specifies a form for the party to use when seeking such a Direction. Practice Direction No 1 and the form is available from the website at http://hohp.scotland.gsi.gov.uk Regulation 13 is detailed in full as follows – 13. (1) Except as otherwise provided for in these Regulations, the committee may at any time either on their own initiative, or on the application of any party, give directions to the parties relating to the conduct or progress of the proceedings. (2) Directions may be given to any party but must be intimated to all parties and may be given orally or in writing. (3) Directions of the committee may, in particular— (a)relate to any matter concerning the preparation for a hearing; . (b)specify the length of time allowed for something to be done; . (c)vary any time limit in directions previously given by the committee for anything to be done by a party; . (d)provide for— . (i)a particular matter to be dealt with as a preliminary issue; . (ii)a party to provide further details of that party’s case, or any other information or document which appears to be necessary for the determination of the application; . (iii)the witnesses, if any, to be heard; . (iv)the manner in which any evidence is to be given; . (e)require any party to lodge and serve— . (i)a statement of any evidence which is to be given at a hearing; . (ii)a skeleton argument which summarises any submission which is to be made at a hearing and cites all the authorities which will be relied on, identifying any particular passages to be relied upon. . (4) When making directions the committee must take into account the ability of parties to comply with the directions.
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