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Giving evidence at inquiries

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 at 9:00AM - 4:30PM
Prospero House (etc Venues), 241 Borough High St, London SE1 1GA
£399 for RTPI members (From £199 with a season ticket)
£199 for licentiate members and independent consultants; £140 for students, unemployed and retired; £499 standard price
RTPI Conferences

Public Inquiries (whether planning appeals or other inquiries) can put increased pressure and stress on the staff involved, many of whom may have little experience of the inquiry process. At some stage in their careers most town planners will be required to give evidence at some type of formal hearing when they will be subject to cross examination by barristers. This masterclass will provide you with the tools and techniques to prepare properly for such a situation, present your evidence to the best of your ability at the inquiry and deal confidently with cross examination. It will also provide background for preparing and appearing at public inquiries and enable them to be more confident when giving evidence and facing cross examination.

Benefits of attending

This masterclass will help you to:

  1. Prepare your evidence thoroughly
  2. Build your confidence
  3. Present your evidence more effectively
  4. Respond positively to cross examination

Who should attend?
Planners and other professionals who expect that they may need to give evidence at public inquiries. Whilst this masterclass will be particularly useful to those who have never given evidence at a public inquiry, it will also be useful to other planning professionals who have some inquiry experience who want to better understand the process of preparing for and giving evidence.



1. The role and duties of expert witnesses

  • Understanding the legal and professional duties of an expert witness
  • Understanding the Inquiries Procedure Rules and Guidance

2. Pre-inquiry preparation/preparation of evidence

  • Understanding your own case
  • Consideration of principal material documents
  • Preparing evidence with the Decision Letter in mind
  • Clearly identifying policy and material consideration issues
  • Distinguishing between main issues and non main issues

3. Consideration of the evidence for the Inquiry

  • Considering the opposition's Proofs of Evidence
  • Do any points need answering?
  • Preparing questions for your Advocate
  • Preparing the Statement of Common Ground

4. Types of inquiry

  • Planning appeals
  • Development plan inquiries and examinations
  • Other types of inquiry

5. Procedures at inquiry

  • The inquiries procedure rules
  • Approaches to giving evidence
  • Understanding each of the 4 stages of giving evidence
  • Considering some common pitfalls
  • Helping yourself to being comfortable at giving evidence
  • Helping the Inspector

 6. Approaches to giving evidence – the 4 stages, including cross examination

  • Includes role plays