Commissioner for Criminal Law and Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law

Body: Law Commission
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: The role is based in 102 Petty France, London (although some home working is possible).
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: The salary is £123,460.
Time Requirements: Commissioners are appointed on a full-time basis. The appointment is made by the Lord Chancellor for an initial period of five years. Re-appointment may be considered for a further term of up to five years, subject to the discretion of the Lord Chancellor.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

The Secretary of State for Justice has announced the appointments of Sarah Green as Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law and Penney Lewis as Law Commissioner for Criminal Law. The appointments are for a period of 5 years from 1 January 2020.

Date: 28/08/2019

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    24/04/2019 at 17:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    26 June and 1 July 2019

  • Announcement

    End of 2019


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Law Commissioners are instrumental in leading law reform in England and Wales; our two new appointments can be expected to play an important and influential part in the evolution of the during a period of potentially unprecedented change.
The Commissioner’s role is participative and proactive. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Commissioners collectively to take final decisions in relation to the policy recommendations put forward to the Peer Review process. They also take responsibility for ensuring that work submitted is of high quality and clearly expressed. All of this requires hands-on involvement at every stage of a project. Commissioners are not expected to be an expert in all aspects of every project, however, although not exhaustive, the Commissioner’s legal knowledge should always be sufficient to:
• Set the structure and parameters of the project, including involvement in drafting Terms of Reference.
• Develop the main policy proposals.
• Oversee the approach to research.
• Lead stakeholder planning and the building of relationships.
• Test concepts and arguments.
• Write and supervise parts of the Consultation Paper, Report or other publications, where required.

Whilst it is likely that the new Commissioners will continue to undertake work within the broad fields of Commercial and Common Law and Criminal Law, our new appointments will also need to react to new challenges as a result of Brexit, as well as undertaking work focused on emerging technologies such as AI, Bioethics and machine learning. Flexibility, together with an ability to grapple with new and challenging areas of the law, will be key.

Person Specification

Essential criteria
Those considering becoming a Law Commissioner will need to demonstrate that they have:
• excelled in their chosen field of law and commitment to the importance of delivering effective law reform.
• the ability to think creatively to resolve complex legal problems and to take reasoned decisions, including a keen interest in the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies.
• excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to present complex ideas to a diverse range of audiences, including members of the public.
• an open-minded approach with a willingness to think flexibly and consult widely before reaching firm conclusions.
• awareness of the diverse needs and backgrounds of those affected by the work of the Commission and of colleagues and staff within the Commission, including a desire to learn about and engage with Whitehall, Parliament, Ministers and a diverse range of stakeholders.
• effective leadership skills, both of people and the strategic direction of the organisation.

Additional Information

In order to be considered for appointment as a Law Commissioner, you must meet the criteria in section 1(2) of the Law Commissions Act 1965, which requires you to be the holder of a judicial office, or a person who has a general qualification within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, or a teacher of law in a University.

Commissioner appointments are open to British or Commonwealth citizens, British Dependent Territories citizens, British Nationals (Overseas) citizens, British protected persons, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals or to those of other member states, and to certain non-EEA family members. Commissioners must have rights of residence in the UK.

How to Apply

Send the following documents:

  • A copy of your CV, in no more than two sides of A4
  • A supporting statement that evidences how you meet all the criteria, in no more than two sides of A4
    • Declaration of interests form;
    • Previous or current public appointments;
    • Names and contacts details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview);
    • Political activity declaration form;
    • Equal opportunities monitoring form, and the
    • Guaranteed interview scheme declaration, if relevant.
  • Complete applications should be sent to: ,receipt of applications will be acknowledged.
Candidate Information Pack -Law Commission- commissioner - Final March 2019
Conflicts of Interest and requests for references
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