Giving Evidence in Public Inquiries
A 2-day workshop for expert witnesses
There is little doubt that giving evidence in Public Inquiries is a challenging and demanding task that requires a high-level of professional skill. Expert witnesses need to have the confidence and skill to be able to meet three specific communication challenges:
- giving clear, coherent and confident evidence to an Inspector;
- dealing successfully with trained barristers during cross-examination; and
- dealing effectively with questions from unrepresented parties and the Inspector.
This 2-day workshop provides a complete learning solution for expert witnesses seeking to develop essential skills for giving evidence at Public Inquiries. Experienced expert witness trainers (planning barristers and communication consultants) will guide you step-by-step through the evidential process, offering practical skills and techniques that can transform your skills as an expert witness.
As a participant in the workshop, you will learn powerful techniques that will enable you to prepare effectively to meet these communication challenges. You will learn how to develop a clear strategy to handle attacks on credibility, methodology, assumptions, interpretation of policy, factual conflicts and concluded opinion. Throughout workshop you will practise an array of approaches and techniques that will transform your evidential skills.
The workshop will first address Inquiry rules and procedure and will show their practical application and importance to the production of evidence, before exploring the key skills in giving effective evidence in Examination-in-Chief, Cross-Examination, Re-Examination, Inspector’s Questions and questions from unrepresented parties. Then we will explore the approach of barristers to the cross-examination of expert witnesses.
In the Inquiry Simulation, each participant will give evidence expert evidence on a short proof each has prepared in response to a housing development case study. A planning barrister will conduct the cross-examination of witnesses and this will be followed with discussion and analysis of both the witness’ performance and the strategy of the cross-examiner. (The Inquiry Simulation will be videoed to enable detailed analysis on Day 2)
Detailed analysis of both the witness’ performance and the relationship between the written evidence and the cross-examination is essential to developing new evidential skills (both written and oral). We will spend the morning playing back the videos to identify techniques and skills that were effective and to suggest alternative approaches to issues. Participants will identify their personal strengths as a witness and will choose one area in which to strengthen their performance.
Participants will then give evidence for a second time in a videoed ‘quick-fire’ cross examination exercise, enabling participants to practise specific techniques that will improve their performance. The workshop will end with a summary of learning and participant goal-setting for developing skills further.
Morning Session (Day 1)
- Inquiry rules and procedure
- Roles and responsibilities of experts in the appeals process
- Effective preparation for the Inquiry
- Techniques for the oral presentation of evidence:
- Inspector’s Questions
- Questions from unrepresented parties
- Inquiry Simulation: Giving Evidence Workshop (videoed)
- Participants give oral evidence and face cross-examination and re-examination from planning barristers
- Feedback and analysis of individual performances
- Identifying participants’ development goals
Morning Session (Day 2)
- Video review and analysis of participants’ oral evidence
- Understand the relationship between the written evidence and the cross-examination that arose from it
- Identify effective evidential technique
- Introduce new skills and techniques to develop witness’ performance
- ‘Quick-fire’ cross-examination exercise
- Feedback and analysis of individual performances
- Participants’ development goal setting
- Summary of learning
- Understand Inquiry rules and procedure to develop more self-assurance about appearing at a Public Inquiry
- Understand the duties and responsibilities of all participants in the process and learn how to perform the role of expert witness effectively at all stages of the evidential process
- Learn essential preparation techniques that enable expert witnesses to be more effective in presenting oral evidence
- Develop powerful techniques for dealing effectively with each stage of giving oral evidence
- Participate in an Inquiry Simulation to practise applying techniques
- Analyse performances to identify key skills and learn new approaches to dealing with cross-examination
- Learn about the relationship between the written evidence and the cross-examination that is likely to develop from it
- Participate in a ‘quick-fire’ cross-examination workshop to develop practise and develop new skills
- Set development goals to integrate the learning into participants’ professional practice as expert witnesses.
Simon was called to the Bar in 1982. He specialises in planning, local government and environmental law, including the compulsory acquisition of land and its effect on common land and public open space. He has been involved in a variety of major infrastructure projects dealing with land use and transport related issues.
In particular, he was instructed by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions throughout the four-year inquiry into BAA’s application to build a fifth terminal at Heathrow. He has also represented the Highways Agency at a number of highways inquiries into a variety of highways schemes including the A36 Salisbury Bypass.
Lynden is a communication skills consultant who specialises in professional communication. Since 1996, he has trained more than 6000 expert witnesses in writing and presenting evidence. He has more than ten years’ experience in training professionals involved in planning appeals and highways inquiries. He also provides communication advice and services to clients involved in major infrastructure projects. In his role, he works closely with all the participants in the planning process including Inspectors, developers, planning authorities and lawyers - enabling him to offer a unique insight into the skills needed to produce high-quality evidence that communicates a case effectively.
Seminar participants will need to prepare a short proof of evidence, based on a case study provided before the workshop, for the Inquiry Simulation.
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
12 Bloomsbury Square
Tel: 020 7421 7444
Terms and Conditions
All cancellations must be made no later than 21 days before the seminar/workshop date. All cancellations made more than 21 days before the seminar/workshop date will receive a refund of monies paid, less a £50+VAT administration charge per delegate.
No refund will be given for any cancellation made within 21 days of the seminar/workshop date, though a substitute delegate may attend for a £50+VAT administration charge.
Professional Solutions Learning and Development reserves the right to make changes to the programme, venue and/or speakers at any time. Professional Solutions Learning and Development will not offer refunds to delegates owing to a terrorist alert or incident or to natural events unless the event is cancelled.
Once we have received confirmation of your booking in writing or through the website, we will send you an email confirmation - please look out for this both in your inbox and junk mail. An e-invoice will be attached where appropriate.
All invoices and outstanding accounts must be settled before the date of the event. CPD and attendance certificates will only be made available on settlement or all outstanding fees. If you have not received confirmation of your booking within 2 days of placing your booking please contact us on 020 7252 3200. We cannot be held responsible for the non-arrival of information.
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