The relevant rules here are:
- Rule 5: ‘Case management powers’ – including adjournments and postponements
- Rule 6: ‘Procedure for applying for and giving directions’
- Rule 15: ‘Evidence and submissions’
- Rule 16: ‘Summoning of witnesses and orders to answer questions or produce documents’
Reports rarely arrive within the usual three-week deadline so it becomes necessary to seek directions for these reports to be submitted. This is best done on form CMR1. If the letter sets out the application date, the reports deadline, and the hearing date (if known), together with the directions which are sought, then they usually will be issued quickly. Such directions can be given by the administrative staff at the secretariat, and can be produced on their initiative (Practice Statement: Delegation of Functions to Staff and to Registrars on or after 27 April 2015  MHLO 36).
On 5 May 2015 the tribunal adopted a new procedure in relation to late reports: Tribunal Procedure: Failure to submit reports to the tribunal on time (17 April 2015)  MHLO 38. The CNL1 letter will direct MHA Administrators to:
- (a) provide contact details for all the responsible authority’s witnesses, including any out-of-area social circumstances report author;
- (b) advise the tribunal if any details change;
- (c) certify that the information can be relied upon by the tribunal for service of directions and summonses.
Then, when a report or statement is not received within the three-week deadline, a specific direction will be sent – generally by secure email – to the person at fault, requiring the evidence within 7 days, and warning that a referral may be made to the Upper Tribunal for consideration of a personal penalty. If the required contact details have not been provided then any directions or summonses will be sent to the Chief Executive or Medical Director.