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Preliminary decision

93.The Board will make a preliminary decision as to whether an applicant is entitled to an award, having regard to the matters set out in section 10(4) of the Act and, where appropriate, any matter arising out of section 11 (which deals with the appointment of medical advisers, the Board’s own counsel, witnesses called by the Board’s counsel and the evidence of relevant persons).

94.Where there is a conflict between the evidence given by the applicant and the evidence given by a relevant person which cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the Board, the Board will request its medical advisers to prepare a report on the injuries received by the applicant as a result of the abuse.  This report is to be prepared having regard to the matters listed in section 10(12) of the Act.  The Board, having considered this report, will make a preliminary decision as to whether the applicant is entitled to an award.

95.The making of an award to an applicant, notwithstanding a conflict between the evidence given by the applicant and a relevant person, shall not constitute a finding of fact relating to fault or negligence on the part of the relevant person.

Report by Board’s medical advisers

96.Where it has made a preliminary decision that an applicant is entitled to an award, the Board may request its medical advisers to prepare a report on the injuries received by the applicant.  Such a report will not normally be requested when an application is referred for settlement; but a report will normally be sought -

(i)where an application is referred directly for hearing;

(ii)where a settlement offer is refused and the application proceeds to a hearing, and

(iii)in other cases where a member of the Board or a legal adviser to the Board deems it to be necessary.

97.When preparing this report, the medical adviser must have regard to –

(a)The medical reports submitted by the applicant;

(b)The evidence provided on behalf of the applicant by his or her medical advisers;

(c)The other evidence given by the applicant;

(d)The matters specified in section 7(1)(c) of the Act, namely, that the applicant was injured while resident in an institution and that injury is consistent with any abuse that is alleged to have occurred while so resident, and

(e)Any requirement of the Board that the adviser’s report shall have regard to any matter arising out of the oral evidence given by the applicant.

The medical adviser may, where he or she considers it appropriate, carry out an assessment of the applicant and such assessment may include conducting an interview with the applicant and his or her medical advisers.

98.Where it considers it appropriate, the Board may hear the oral evidence of the applicant and his or her medical or other advisers in respect of the report made by the Board’s medical advisers.

Determination of application

99.When determining an award, the Board will have regard to –

(a)

the application form and all written evidence tendered by the applicant;

(b)

any written  evidence provided by a relevant person;

(c)

the evidence adduced at a hearing, if any;

(d)

the Regulations made by the Minister concerning the assessment of the redress award, and

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