Succeeding at Oral Hearings

This two day intensive in-house legal training programme is delivered by lawyers experienced in training parties presenting at oral hearings and public inquiries.

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Succeeding at Oral Hearings


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It focuses on the procedures at an oral hearing, the order of events, the roles and functions of the different participants and the process of giving evidence.

It will deal with the expectations of the different participants and will also address the techniques lawyers use to disconcert and discredit witnesses. Attendees experience presenting a scheme in a mock oral hearing role-play and experience being cross examined on a case study related to their area of work.

Succeeding at Oral Hearings: Your Evidence

On this legal training course you will learn the importance of evidence and how it has potential of establishing or proving a fact.

Our trainers will show you how to break down your case into each of its elements and decide what evidence you will use to establish each part.

You will understand the importance of never assuming that someone else will provide the evidence, or that the Board will already know something. You will learn how to explain to the Board in clear terms how this evidence impacts your case.

Key Learning Points

  • Understand the role and scope of an oral hearing
  • Understand your role and the limits of your role
  • Performance and behaviour expected
  • Learn how to prepare for your oral hearing, including your opening statement, an outline of your own oral testimony, questions for your witnesses, potential questions for other parties to be used in cross-examination
  • Learn how to make full use of your evidence including your own oral testimony,  supporting documentation organised in a logical manner, photographs and objects
  • Essential elements in your Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Natura Impact Statement (NIS), where relevant
  • You will learn how to present an orderly cogent scheme
  • Experience in-depth cross examination training and how to come across best
  • How to deter questions which are not in your remit
  • Build confidence and gain master of your delivery
  • Improve your professional skills

Who should attend this course and why:

Different professionals will be required to give evidence at oral hearings to ensure they are in compliance with proper planning principles and sustainable development. This is a daunting prospect for those who are unused to the rigours of questioning by other experts and skilled lawyers.

The legal training gives delegates a clear understanding of the procedures at an oral hearing, the process of giving evidence and an opportunity to be cross-examined on a typical scheme presented at a hearing.

  • Air Quality Consultants
  • Appellant
  • Applicant
  • Archaeologists
  • Architects
  • Ecology Consultants
  • Engineers
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Fire Engineers
  • Groundwater and Surface Water Consultants
  • Noise, Vibration and Acoustics Consultant
  • Occupational Health Consultant
  • Planners
  • Soils and Geology Consultants
  • Transport Planners

And any other person making submissions or observations to the Board (in accordance with Planning Acts and Regulations)

Cases for oral hearing:

An oral hearing can deal with:

  • a planning appeal,
  • a valid objection to a CPO (compulsory purchase order)
  • a referral (a Planning Authority refers a request for declaration, as to whether something is ‘development or exempted development’, to the Board) or
  • an application for strategic infrastructure development.

Testimonial:

"The course was very practical and gave good preparation for what to expect in an Oral Hearing. The material was very relevant. I know I will refer back to the notes again. The course was given at a very good pace while still allowing for discussion and questions throughout. Clear strong knowledge and practical experience of Oral Hearings. All questions were answered." Christine Power, Irish Water

This course is accredited by Engineers Ireland.