Leave to appear

Leave to appear is the term used when the Commission grants permission to a person or organisation to participate in its hearings by allowing that person or organisation to ask questions of witnesses and make arguments or submissions to the Commissioners.

Generally, a person or organisation who is the subject of evidence before the Commission may apply for leave to appear. Leave to appear is not required if the Commission asks you to be a witness.

Applications for leave to appear must be made in writing and should:

  • identify the particular subject matter of the inquiry or specific issue or issues that may be the subject of public hearings in relation to which the applicant has a direct or significant interest, and
  • be accompanied by a short submission of no more than two pages in support of the application.

Applications for leave to appear must be submitted at least seven days prior to the hearing at which leave to appear is sought.

Further information about leave to appear, including the application form, can be found in Practice Direction No. 2 – Leave to Appear (PDF, 337.1 KB).

Leave to examine or cross-examine a witness

Witnesses will be called to give evidence and then be examined by Counsel Assisting. Where a person or organisation has been granted leave to appear, that person or organisation (or any legal representative) may also seek leave to examine or cross-examine a witness.

Leave to examine or cross-examine a witness will be subject to the discretion of, and any limitations or conditions imposed by, the President or presiding Commissioner.

Further information about leave to examine or cross-examine a witness can be found in Practice Direction No. 5 – Hearings (PDF, 459.8 KB).

Updated: 21st April 2022

© 2021 Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse