After a member of the Board’s legal team has finally reviewed the application file, the applicant will be notified that the matter is now ready for hearing; this communication is called “the Completion Letter”. The Completion Letter will contain a schedule of the documents (normally the report of the Board’s medical adviser and the response, if any, from a relevant person) and these documents, together with the application and any documents attached to the application will normally constitute all the documents which the Board will consider in determining the application. If at any time additional documents come to the attention of the Board which appear to be relevant to the application, the Board will give the applicant an opportunity to examine and comment on them prior to the determination of the application.
The Completion Letter will also contain an indication of any particular part of the application about which the Board wishes to hear evidence or submissions. If any issue such as proof of identity, proof of residence or difficulties about written medical evidence already tendered has not been raised in the past or is not raised in the completion letter or accompanying documentation, then at the hearing that issue need not be the subject of any further evidence other than the oral evidence of the applicant. This is to prevent the attendance of unnecessary witnesses. The Board will resist the awarding of costs to witnesses called unnecessarily. Similarly, if the Board advises in the Completion Letter that the application is suitable for settlement, it should be assumed that witnesses other than the applicant will not be necessary should the case go to hearing.
72.Applicants and their legal advisers are requested to check their hearing documents carefully and to tell the Board immediately if they think anything is wrong or missing. In particular, please make sure that the hearing papers contain all the medical evidence pertaining to the applicant’s injuries and treatment and that this evidence is as up to date as possible. Where an applicant is represented by a solicitor, it is the responsibility of the solicitor to ensure that he or she has at the hearing a copy of all the documents to be considered in respect of the application.
73.Where a relevant person is to attend a hearing, the Board will ensure that a copy of any appropriate document which has not previously been sent to the relevant person is made available to him or her in advance of the hearing. It is the responsibility of the relevant person to ensure that he or she has at the hearing a copy of all the documents pertaining to him or her to be considered at that hearing.
74.Applicants or their legal representative should inform the Board in advance if an applicant has any special needs at the hearing, such as documents in large print, wheelchair or other access requirements or, in the case of those with hearing difficulties, a person to sign. Please note that wheelchair users have access to the Board’s hearing rooms at Clonskeagh and the toilets are suitable for persons with disabilities. If the hearing is to be held elsewhere please advise the Board of any special access needs.
An applicant who has a hearing or reading difficulty may bring someone with him or her to the hearing or may request the Board in advance to provide someone to help.
Please note that there are no child-care facilities at any hearing centre, but the Board will pay the reasonable cost of child-care while an applicant is attending a hearing.
Attendance at hearing