Lay Member for Advisory Committee

Body: Avon and Somerset Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sector: Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: Avon and Somerset (meetings held in Worle)
Number of Vacancies: 5
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 seven days interviewing. To attend two meetings per year and a two day induction course. There will also be the opportunity to attend a two day Conduct Panel induction training course. All of these are generally held within normal business hours Monday to Friday. 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.
Closing Date: 31/01/2018 16:00
Interviews: It is anticipated that interviews will take place in January/February 2018.

Vacancy Description

The Avon and Somerset Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace is responsible for the recruitment and selection of magistrates in Avon and Somerset. It also has responsibility for investigating allegations of misconduct by magistrates, to review decisions that a magistrate has failed to reach the required standard, to ensure that magistrates fulfil their undertaking to sit and undertake training, to draw to the attention of bench chairmen and justices’ clerks instances of magistrates sitting too little or too often and to seek 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 and ensure that the advisory committee does not exceed its power or functions.

Person Specification

The qualities sought in members of Advisory Committees include: good interpersonal 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, an awareness of own prejudices and an ability to set them aside, discretion in handling confidential information, understanding or willingness to acquire understanding of the needs of the Benches, willingness and ability to talk about the magistracy and participate in recruitment events, ability to work as a team member, commitment, dedication and enthusiasm, a willingness to undergo training.

Additional Information

Interviews of new magistrates – it is usual for each member of the Committee to attend as part of an interviewing panel. A two day induction course organised by the Ministry of Justice must be attended.

How to Apply

Please e-mail or telephone on 01823 285240 for an application form and further details. Completed application forms should be posted to: Mrs Brenda Saturley, HR Team Manager, Taunton Magistrate’s Court, St John’s Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4AX.

Draft Candidate Infomation Pack February 2018 SG
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