Public appointees needed for the Lay Observers

Body: Lay Observers
Appointing Department: Ministry of Justice
Sectors: Judicial, Prison & Policing, Prison & Policing, Regulation
Location: Yorkshire (Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Doncaster), North West England (Liverpool, Manchester, Preston), North East England (Newcastle, Durham), Midlands (Birmingham), East Midlands, Home Counties surrounding Greater London.
Skills required: Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 30 vacancies
Remuneration: Unremunerated though reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: Approx. 2 to 3 half day visits per month, with some flexibility to choose when visits are made. Only a very limited number of courts operate on a Saturday, so prospective candidates should be able to undertake most of their visits on weekdays.
Closing Date: 29/04/2022 00:00
Interviews: TBC – anticipated mid-May onwards

Vacancy Description

We are currently recruiting new members to join the Lay Observers to undertake this statutory role that inspects the treatment received by detained persons in court custody suites and escort vehicles. Lay Observers report on whether or not detainees are treated with decency and respect and their welfare is appropriately managed.

Person Specification

Applicants do not need any special qualifications or experience as we will provide all necessary training and support. Candidates must be over 18 years of age. We are looking for applicants who are enthusiastic, open minded, possess effective communication skills and have the ability to exercise sound, objective judgement.

Additional Information

Lay Observers (LOs) are an important part of the justice system. Appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice, LOs visit courts to confirm that detained persons are being treated with decency and respect. They also visit prisons to observe the handover of detained persons to also monitor their welfare during transport. We welcome applications from people over 18 from all walks of life and your background can be as a student, a person of working age, or retired. We would especially welcome candidates who are black, Asian, or from an ethnic minority background, as a diverse group strengthens the work we do. This is a rare opportunity to get involved in a role that is challenging, educational, rewarding, and crucial to the justice system. Please click on to find out how becoming a Lay Observer can benefit you and make a real difference to people’s lives. You can view a short video giving more details about the role.

How to Apply

An application pack along with further details on how to apply is available from

LO/Apr/2022 (to be quoted in all correspondence and on application form)

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