Education – Oral Hearing Training

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An Bord Pleanála’s objective is to hold Oral Hearings without ‘undue formality’. While An Bord Pleanála determines a scheme on its merits, it is increasingly important that parties to Oral Hearings conduct themselves in a professional manner in order to present the best case for their Client.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that it is not just what someone says, but how it is said and presented that has an effect on the listener. Having regard to the concept that ‘first impressions last’, the case for certain projects is unduly affected when the promoting Project Team does not operate as a cohesive unit. It is not just a matter of leadership, but of individual responsibility within a team.

Tom Phillips + Associates can undertake this advice for generic (i.e. theoretical) projects or support for actual cases. In the latter instance, we can peer-review presentations. As the co-ordinators of numerous Environmental Impact Statements, the Practice is used to briefing, co-ordinating, proof-reading, project-managing and collating the inputs of multi-disciplinary teams.

We have worked together in advising a number of teams through holding Mock Oral Hearings. We use that expertise to advise, as appropriate, other teams and prepare them for Oral Hearings.

We provide specialised Oral Hearing Training for Teams and Individuals alike.

The purpose of the training is several-fold, including:

  • Improve key communications’ skills – verbal and non-verbal;
  • Improve ability to understand, gauge and deliver brief of evidence at an Oral Hearing;
  • Improve skills at handling in depth cross-examination and anticipating questions;
  • Reinforce the importance of preparation and communication of a complex submission;
  • Produce clear, succinct and complete briefs of evidence that capture the Project, the expertise and the argument to grant planning; and
  • Participate in a Mock Oral Hearing that ensures consistency, develops confidence and helps to avoid pitfalls.