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Rules for taking part in Oral Hearings

This page explains some of the rules for taking part in oral hearings.

Who will run the oral hearing?

The Oral Hearing will be run by the Inspector chosen by the Board. The Inspector is there to hear all sides and listen to the submissions made before he or she prepares a report and makes a recommendation to the Board about whether or not this development should be granted or refused permission. The final decision is made by the Board.

How will the oral hearing be run?

The Oral Hearing will be run in accordance with the agenda that will be made available before the Oral Hearing begins. The Inspector is required to conduct the hearing in an efficient and timely manner and has the power to decide what way the Oral Hearing will run. 

All participants must agree to follow the Rules if they want to be involved in the oral hearing.  If you are being represented by an agent or experts, you need to make sure that they understand the rules and will follow them.

Rules to follow if you are taking part

  1. Any issues to do with the agenda or time allocation must be notified to An Bord Pleanála before the hearing. Everyone must follow the time limits set by the Inspector as set out in the agenda. If you go over this time you will be asked to finish your submission so that other people may make their submission.
  2. Everyone must respect the Oral Hearing process and the Inspector appointed by the Board who is running the Oral Hearing. If the Inspector issues a request or instruction during the hearing you must agree to do what he or she asks. 

  3. Everyone must behave in a respectful manner towards other participants. Aggressive or abusive behaviour or language will not be accepted.

  4. Repeating submissions already made should be avoided. If the Inspector thinks that the point has already been made, he or she will ask you to move onto your next point.

  5. Language used by everyone at Oral Hearings should be clear, respectful and chosen carefully. Avoid using legal language. For example: the word ‘submission’ should be used instead of the phrase ‘proofs of evidence’.

  6. Questions for participants must be asked in a respectful manner and participants must be allowed to answer without being talked over or interrupted. Questions should be to the point and should not be used to make another submission.

  7. Responding to questions should also be direct, for example cases which require a simple yes or no answer.  The inspector will intervene if it is considered that further details are required.

  8. No recording or streaming of the oral hearing is allowed. Mobile phones, cameras and recording equipment must be turned off during the oral hearing.


What happens if I do not follow the Rules?

Attendance at the oral hearing is voluntary and your attendance is based on your agreement to follow the rules above.  If the Inspector feels that you are not following the rules, he or she will make you aware of this. If you continue, you will be given a formal verbal warning and if necessary you will be directed to leave the Oral hearing.

Further information and Complaints

Further information is available in our “Oral hearing” guide and by contacting us. Complaints about the Rules for taking part in Oral Hearings can be made in writing to: The Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 V902.

Would you like a printable version?

Rules for taking part in oral hearings (PDF, 77KB)