Lay Member for Advisory Committee

Body: Essex Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: Meetings held within Essex, current location Osprey House, Chelmsford
Number of Vacancies: 7
Remuneration: Non-remunerated. Members who incur a financial loss through attendance at meetings and other official committee business may be entitled to claim an allowance. Reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: The time commitment required can vary depending on the level of magistrate recruitment being undertaken each year, but as a general rule may involve approximately five days interviewing and to attend a minimum of two meetings per year and two day induction course. All of the work of Committee members is generally carried out within normal business hours Monday to Friday.
Closing Date: 15/09/2017 12:00
Interviews: It is anticipated interviews will take place in September/October 2017. The Committee reserves the right to restrict the number of interviews offered, where the number of applicants is disproportionate to the number of vacancies available. Where the number of interviews offered is restricted – the selection criteria for interview, will be to offer interviews to applicants who applied earliest in time

Vacancy Description

The Essex Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace is chaired by the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Petre, and is responsible for the recruitment and selection of magistrates in Essex. It also has responsibility for investigating allegations of misconduct by magistrates; reviewing decisions that a magistrate has failed to reach the required standard; ensuring that magistrates fulfil their undertaking to sit and undertake training; drawing to the attention of bench chairmen and justices’ clerks instances of magistrates sitting too little or too often and seeking explanations accordingly.
Members of Advisory Committees have collective responsibility for the operation of the committee. They must:
• Engage fully in collective consideration of the issues, taking account of the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice.
• Ensure that the code of practice on access to government information (Including prompt responses to public requests for information) is adhered to.
• Respond appropriately to complaints.
• Ensure that the Advisory Committee does not exceed its power or functions.

Person Specification

Qualities Sought in Members
Good inter-personal skills
Ability to participate in interviewing candidates for the magistracy
Experience of interviewing is an advantage but is not essential
Good judge of character and ability: objectivity
Ability to articulate clear, well founded reasons on the suitability or otherwise of candidates
Awareness of own prejudices and ability to set them aside
Discretion in handling confidential information
Understanding or willingness to acquire understanding of the needs of the Bench
Willingness and ability to talk about the magistracy and to participate in recruitment events
Ability to work as a team member
Commitment, dedication and enthusiasm
Willingness to undergo such training as may, from time to time, be prescribed by the Lord Chancellor

Additional Information

Members can be appointed for up to a nine year term of office but are not normally appointed for a period that would extend beyond their 70th birthday.

Interviews of new magistrates can take place at any time although it is envisaged that the next round of interviews will take place in Spring 2018. It is usual for each member of the Committee to attend as part of the interviewing panel. A two day induction course organised by the Ministry of Justice must be attended which will take place before March 2018..

How to Apply

Please email or telephone on 01733 201301 for an application form and further details. Completed application forms should be posted to: Ms Karmen McAllister, Legal Support Business Manager, Peterborough Magistrate’s Court, Bridge Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 1ED.

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