Judicial Appointments Commission - One Lay Commissioner with responsibility for Welsh matters, and one Judicial (Tribunal Judge) Commissioner

Body: Judicial Appointments Commission
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: London
Skills required: Communication / Media / Marketing, Legal / Judicial
Number of Vacancies: 2
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 – any queries you may have about how this may affect you, will need to be taken up by you with your pension provider.
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


  • Closed for Applications

    16/12/2019 at 09:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

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 5 core activities:

  • To attend Commission meetings 10 times a 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 2 sub-Committees or working groups, each meeting up to 5 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 & Tribunals 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; and
  • 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 additional responsibilities of the Commissioner with responsibility for Welsh matters 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;
  • 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; and
  • Advise on the JAC’s Welsh Language Scheme.

Please note it is not a requirement that candidates live in Wales or speak Welsh.  

Person Specification

Lay Commissioner post:

As per paragraph 8 of the Judicial Appointments Commission Regulations 2013, a lay member of the Commission is a person who lives in England or Wales who has never:

(a) held an office listed in Schedule 14 to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 or any equivalent office internationally,
(b) been a member of a panel appointed under regulation 8(1) and (3)(b) and (c) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004, or
(c) practised or been employed as a lawyer.

A practising or employed lawyer, includes:

  • a barrister in England and Wales
  • a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • an advocate in Scotland
  • a solicitor in Scotland
  • a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland
  • a 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.

Tribunal Judge post: salaried judges are preferred for this post

To be eligible for this position, candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience and hold one of the following offices:

  • Judge of the First-tier Tribunal appointment under paragraph 1 (1) of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007
  • Transferred-in judge of the First-tier Tribunals (see section 31 (2) of that Act)
  • Regional Employment Judge appointed under regulation 6(1) of the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulation 2004
  • Employment Judge (England and Wales) appointed under regulation 8(1) and (3)(a) of those Regulations

Disqualification for appointment

There are circumstances in which an individual will not be considered for appointment. These include:

  • Someone who has received a prison sentence or suspended sentence of 3 months or more in the last 5 years;
  • Someone who is the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order;
  • In certain circumstances, those who have had an earlier term of appointment terminated;
  • Anyone who is under a disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986; and
  • Anyone who has been removed from trusteeship of a charity.

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.

Additionally for the role of Lay Commissioner with responsibility for Welsh matters:

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

Desirable criteria

Lay member post

  • Some knowledge of the administration of justice;
  • A track record of achievement at the highest levels in one of the following areas
    • recruitment and 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

Tribunal Judge post

  • active involvement in organisations engaging with tribunal judges across tribunal jurisdictions;
  • recent and substantial understanding or experience of appointments processes in different environments; and
  • an understanding of the tribunal system more generally, including assignment and deployment policies.

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate evidence against these criteria by referring to the responsibilities they have held and demonstrate the abilities they have had – (not necessarily limited to their working or professional lives).

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.

Diversity monitoring form Sept 2019
Reference Request form - Sept 2019
JAC Lay Wales Tribunal Commissioner - Candidate Infomation Pack - Updated 141119
Conflict of Interest - Sept 2019
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