Commissioners to the Judicial Appointments Commission

Announced
Body: Judicial Appointments Commission
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: Two, including one Commissioner with responsibility for Welsh matters
Remuneration: £338 per day. Remuneration is taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The role is not pensionable and your remuneration may be abated if you receive a public service pension.
Time Requirements: The appointment will run for three years. Commissioners are expected to commit around 28 days each year to attend meetings and external events, including involvement in oversight of selection exercises and in light of current judicial recruitment volumes the JAC may request up to a further 10 paid days per year.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched

    10/01/2019

  • Closed for Applications

    11/02/2019 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift

    04/03/2019

  • Final Interview Date

    03/05/2019

  • Announcement

    23/07/2019 at 14:00

 

Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The role of the Commissioner

The JAC Commissioners – who are independent of government and the civil service – have the corporate responsibility for ensuring that the JAC fulfils its role under the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act so that recruitment to the judiciary is made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

As an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice, Commissioners are accountable to Parliament through the Lord Chancellor.

The Commissioners, currently under the leadership of Lord Kakkar, the Chairman of the JAC, have five core activities:

  • To attend Commission meetings ten times per year in London, bringing their experience and judgement to bear on a range of important strategy, governance and policy issues. Each Commissioner is normally expected to also serve on one or two sub-Committees or working groups, each meeting up to five times a year typically for a couple of hours at a time.
  • To select candidates for judicial appointment based on the selection exercise programme agreed with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the Ministry of Justice. The Commission considers all of the information provided, including the assessments of the selection panel convened by the JAC, before making a decision as to who will be recommended to the Lord Chancellor for appointment.
  • One or more Commissioners will also be assigned to oversee each selection process. With the exception of appointments to the High Court or above, they will not generally sit on individual selection panels, but will ensure that the process is followed, and will be part of the process that makes the final recommendation of suitable candidates.
  • To ensure that recruitment for all exercises is open, fair and the best person for the job is recommended for appointment, Commissioners will regularly review the selection processes used to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
  • To ensure that the JAC undertakes its statutory duty of having regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection. In doing so it is expected that Commissioners take part in external events, including speaking at seminars, conferences and meetings, and making presentations to key interested parties, individuals and groups.

The Commissioners work closely with staff at the JAC who undertake the day-to-day process of selecting candidates to the judiciary.

The main responsibilities of the Commissioners are to:

  • Maintain the values of the JAC, particularly selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition
  • Oversee a number of selection exercises ensuring that the most suitable candidates are recommended to the Lord Chancellor for appointment.
  • Take part in and influence debates about the strategic objectives, performance and constitutional role of the JAC.
  • Promote the JAC and to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of persons available for selection.

The main responsibilities of the Commissioner with particular responsibility for Welsh matters may include:

  • Advise the Commission Board on the particular requirements of Wales and on current developments, both in relation to devolution generally and the administration of justice in Wales.
  • Be a link with relevant bodies in Wales, including the relevant parts of the Welsh Government.
  • Have an oversight role in relation to those parts of selection exercises involved with positions in Wales, and involvement in selection exercises in which the Welsh Language is an essential requirement.
  • Chair the Welsh Matters Committee.
  • Advise on the JAC’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • Please note it is not a requirement that the candidates lives in Wales or speaks Welsh.

The successful candidates will have the ability to:

  • Work as a member of a body of Commissioners, through plenary and sub-Committee discussions.
  • Be respected for their professionalism, valued for their contribution, constantly seek ways to improve their performance and that of those with whom they work in partnership.
  • Develop strategic direction for the Commission, including making recommendations on operational policy.
  • Work constructively with HMCTS and MoJ, while upholding JAC values and the integrity of the selection process.
  • Carry the confidence of JAC’s key interested parties by ensuring that the most suitable candidates are recommended for appointment, with lay members taking part in selection panels for the most senior judicial appointments.

Person Specification

A lay member is a person resident in England or Wales who has never held any of the judicial offices, set out in Schedule 14 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, either in the UK or internationally. This list can be found at the following link http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/4/schedule/14 .  Nor will they have ever been a practising lawyer, which is defined for these purposes as:

  • a practising barrister in England and Wales;
  • a practising solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales;
  • a practising advocate in Scotland;
  • a practising solicitor in Scotland;
  • a practising member of the Bar of Northern Ireland;
  • a practising solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland; or
  • a fellow of the Centre of Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Please note that if the applicant is a magistrate, he or she is ineligible to be a lay member as he or she holds a listed judicial office.

Essential criteria

We are looking for someone with:

  • Personal integrity, party-political impartiality and a commitment to the highest standards in public life and to the values of the JAC, including appointment on merit and the importance of diversity;
  • An independent mind with excellent judgement and powerful analytical skills, able to interpret complex information and make robust selection decisions which stand up to scrutiny;
  • Credibility and personal authority, such as to command the confidence of key stakeholders and able to chair selection panels and (for Lay Commissioners) to sit as a panel member for the most senior appointments;
  • Excellent listening skills and a collegial approach to decision-making, able to assimilate different Commissioner perspectives and provide considered decisions based upon consensus;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to ‘read’ others; and
  • Effective communication skills to represent the Commission in meetings and externally.

Desirable criteria

  • Some knowledge of the administration of justice; and
  • A track record of achievement at the highest levels in one of the following areas:
    • recruitment & talent management, particularly for the most senior roles;
    • communications and public affairs;
    • academia;
    • diversity and widening representation;
    • governance and business management, whether in the public or private sector, including audit and risk.

Commissioner with responsibility for Welsh matters

In addition to the areas listed above:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the particular requirements of Wales. He/she will advise the Commission Board on these and be a link with relevant bodies in Wales.

Additional Information

Confirmation of appointment will be subject to basic security clearance checks (BPSS), covering confirmation of identity and right to work in the UK plus a criminal record check. This will involve completion of several paper and electronic forms and can take up to five weeks to process following completion of the forms.

How to Apply

To make an application, please send:

  • A CV (maximum two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address;
  • A supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements; and
  • Information from selection panels indicate that applications which offer specific and tailored examples against the criteria, making clear the candidate’s role in achieving an outcome are often the strongest. Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity. Guidance on how to write a successful application is provided at Appendix 2.

Supporting Documents

Please also complete and return the following supporting documents:

  • potential conflicts of interest: You should declare any actual or potential conflict of interest. The selection panel may wish to explore these further with you if you are shortlisted for interview. Conflicts might arise from a variety of sources such as financial interests or share ownership, membership of, or association with, particular bodies or the activities of relatives or partners.       If you need further advice, please contact Anna Payne at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk. ;
  • note of public appointments – please list any appointments currently held;
  • referee details – please give names/contact details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview);
  • the political activity declaration form – in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments, details of any declared activity will be made public if you are appointed; and
  • the equal opportunities monitoring form – information is requested for monitoring purposes only and plays no part in the selection process. It will be kept confidentially and will not be seen by the selection panel.

Please send your CV, supporting letter and supporting documents to: PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk . We will acknowledge receipt.

Attachments
JAC 2019 - Candidate Infomation Pack
Supporting-documents-August-2018-updated
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