The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is now inviting applications for the role of Fee-paid Legal Member Adjudication Panel Wales.
Launch date: 13:00
on Thursday 4 October 2018
Closing date: 13:00 on Thursday 18 October 2018
Number of vacancies: 2
Number of applications: 69
Number of selections: 2. Further data on this exercise, including diversity data, will be published by the JAC as part of its annual official statistics bulletin.
Fee: £414.00 a day
You should first consider whether you are ready to apply for this role, and so may wish to look at the information provided here.
Overview of the role
The Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW) is an independent tribunal. Its function is to determine alleged breaches by elected and co-opted members of Welsh county, county borough and community councils and fire and national park authorities, against their authority’s statutory code of conduct.
Although the tribunal is funded by the Welsh Government, the tribunal, its members and decisions are independent of central and local government.
About the tribunal
The Code of Conduct for an authority provides its members with a set of standards expected of them in public life. The code of conduct covers various requirements as to how members should conduct themselves and includes requirements in relation to equality, personal and prejudicial interests, confidential information, their authority’s resources and the need to avoid bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
The APW has two statutory functions in relation to breaches of the Code of Conduct:
- to form case or interim case tribunals to consider references from the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, following the investigation of allegations that a member has failed to comply with their authority’s Code of Conduct
- to consider appeals from members against the decisions of local authority standards committees that they have breached the Code of Conduct
The APW operates in accordance with its procedural regulations and other associated legislation. The regulations ensure that all cases heard by the APW are treated fairly, consistently, promptly and justly.
At an APW hearing the panel is composed of a legally qualified chairperson and 2 lay members. The chairperson is responsible for writing decisions, advising of adjournments and setting directions where necessary. They must ensure the correct legal process is followed and that the law is correctly applied in light of the evidence given.
To find out more visit the APW website.
Terms and conditions
(Successful candidates will be provided with a full set of terms and conditions and pension information upon a formal offer of appointment from the Welsh Government.)
Location and jurisdiction
The Tribunal is administered in Llandrindod Wells. Tribunal hearings are conducted across all regions of Wales, candidates must be available to hear cases and travel independently throughout Wales and be able to stay overnight where necessary.
Reading about candidates previously selected for this role is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed. Read about Claire Jones' experience.
To be considered for appointment you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post.
To be eligible to apply for this selection exercise Welsh Ministers have determined that candidates must:
- satisfy the judicial-appointment eligibility condition* on a 5-year basis or
- have held judicial office
*The judicial-appointment eligibility condition requires candidates to:
- have possessed a relevant legal qualification
- for the requisite period and
- whilst holding that qualification, have gained experience in law
For this exercise, a relevant qualification means solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. The JAC will measure the requisite period from the start date of the relevant legal qualification (such as completed pupillage date) up to the date that the JAC sends the letter to the relevant appropriate authority with recommendations for appointment.
In addition, candidates should be able to demonstrate the ability to acquire knowledge of the law providing for statutory standards of conduct in local authorities in Wales.
Candidates will also need to have an understanding, or the ability to acquire the understanding, of the administration of justice in Wales. This includes legislation applicable to Wales and Welsh devolution arrangements. This will be assessed at selection day.
Conflicts of interest
Current members of staff for the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales or employees of the Welsh Government are precluded from applying.
There is no upper or lower age limit for candidates apart from the statutory retirement age of 70. However, the age at which someone is appointed as a Fee-paid Legal Member of the Adjudication Panel for Wales should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually 4 years before retirement.
The JAC will decide whether a candidate will be able to provide a reasonable length of service.
Candidates who already hold judicial appointment and were first appointed before March 1995, may have a preserved retirement age of 72. This includes candidates first appointed to a judicial office listed in Schedule 7 to the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993. Such candidates should inform the JAC about their retirement age.
Candidates must be either a UK citizen, a citizen of another Commonwealth country, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. Other European Union citizens are not eligible to apply.
Open for applications: 4 October 2018 at 13:00
Close for applications: 18 October 2018 at 13:00
Request for independent assessments: by 26 October 2018
Deadline for the receipt of independent assessments: 7 November 2018
Eligibility checks being conducted: mid-December 2018
Outcome of shortlisting: by 21 December 2018
Selection days: 9 and 10 January 2019
Statutory consultation comments sought: January-February 2019
Character checks being conducted: January-February 2019
Outcome of selection process expected by: end of March 2019
Read the competency framework for the role and the job description before making your application. There are 5 competencies in total that list the behaviours of a fee-paid legal member of the Adjudication Panel for Wales who is performing the role effectively.
Your online application plays an important part in the selection process. You must complete all required sections, ensuring the information you provide is clear and accurate.
The self-assessment section of the application is your opportunity to tell us about the experience and knowledge you have for the post. You must provide examples and evidence of why you feel your skills and experience are transferable to the post and why they will enable you to perform effectively in the role. You should link your examples to the competencies required for the post having regard to the job description. The self-assessment should not simply be a reiteration of your career history.
Guidance on completing the candidate self-assessment and choosing the best examples in your self-assessment
Read the guidance about independent assessments before completing your application. Independent assessments will contribute to your overall assessment. They should provide evidence that you have the abilities relevant to the role as outlined in the relevant competency framework.
When asked to provide details of your independent assessors you will see 4 boxes for the assessor details. However, you must give details of 2 assessors only.
Independent assessments should provide evidence that you have the competencies relevant to the role of a Fee-paid Legal Member of the Adjudication Panel for Wales. Both of your assessors must, therefore, have sound and comprehensive knowledge of your work and 1 of your assessors should, ideally, be from your current employment. Whether you already hold judicial office will determine the category or categories of assessors you must nominate:
If you are a salaried judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of 2 judicial assessors.
If you are a fee-paid judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of 1 judicial assessor and 1 professional assessor.
If you do not currently hold a judicial office, you will need to provide details of 2 professional assessors.
A professional assessor could be:
- a senior partner or head of chambers if you are a solicitor, barrister or attorney
- a client, magistrate or local authority official if you are a sole practitioner
- a judge who is able to provide an assessment of your professional role
If you are a judicial office holder, a judicial assessor could be:
- the senior judge of the tribunal, court, jurisdiction or circuit where you sit most often or your appraising judge
You must ensure that all of the details (name, title and email address) are correct for both of your assessors. All correspondence with your assessors will be by email; it is important that the information you provide is correct to avoid any delay in the JAC being able to contact your nominated assessors.
Do not nominate Claire Sharp, President of the Adjudication Panel for Wales or the President of the Welsh Tribunals as independent assessors as they are the lead judge and Statutory Consultee respectively. Nor should you nominate a JAC Commissioner.
All candidates are advised to contact their independent assessors in advance of submitting their application. If you have any queries about who to nominate as your independent assessors, please contact the JAC.
Shortlisting is by way of paper sift, taking into account the information contained in your application and independent assessments. The panel will assess the self-assessment and the independent assessments against the competency framework.
If you are not successful following shortlisting, you can request written feedback by emailing the Selection Team at email@example.com. You should make this request within 6 weeks of the email informing you that you have not been successful. We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days.
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in Newport on 9 and 10 January 2019. We will not be able to accommodate selection days outside of this period.
The selection day for this exercise will comprise of situational questioning and a competency based interview, where the selection panel will be seeking evidence from you against the competencies for the post.
The overall assessment by the panel is provided to the Commission when they make their selection decisions.
As this is a Welsh exercise you will be asked additional questions at selection day in relation to Welsh matters. This is to allow the panel to assess your understanding, or the ability to acquire the understanding, of the administration of justice in Wales, including legislation applicable to Wales and Welsh devolution arrangements.
Information about selection day, including interviews
As required by the Judicial Appointments Regulations 2013, the JAC is required to consult a person (other than the Appropriate Authority) who has held the office we are selecting for, or who has other relevant experience. In this exercise the JAC will consult with the President of the Welsh Tribunals. The information provided by the statutory consultee will be used to inform selection decisions.
Information on statutory consultation
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure that candidates with disabilities are not placed at a substantial disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those suffering from short-term injury or temporary illness. Details can be found in the JAC's reasonable adjustments policy. Candidates will have the option to outline their reasonable adjustment requirements in their JAC website account.
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates whom it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your signed consent.
A signed copy of the consent form should be completed and returned to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 January 2019.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2016 allows for the full disclosure of all spent cautions and convictions to assess good character.
You must declare and disclose all past convictions and cautions, regardless of whether they are spent or unspent. Failure to declare any matters that come to light from the JAC's checks may prejudice the outcome of your application. Read the good character guidance before applying.
You may update the character section of your JAC profile at any time. This is your continuing responsibility throughout the process for any matter that may arise up to the point of appointment.
Equal merit provision
In line with its published policy, the Commission will apply the equal merit provision to this exercise.
The relevant datasets that will be used to identify any under-representation are taken from the 2011 Census, detailed characteristics, England and Wales (ONS 2012) and the diversity statistics showing the background of the tribunals judiciary (as of 1 April 2018), based upon primary appointment, as published on the Judiciary website.
The population of the United Kingdom (usual residents) aged 25 to 74 that are women is 50.4%, while 11.3% of the UK population identifies as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) background. The proportion of judges in Welsh Tribunals (administered by the Welsh devolved government) that are women is 15% and of those who declared their ethnicity, 0% declared they were from a BAME background.
The Selection and Character Committee will consider which candidates to recommend to the Appropriate Authority as set out in the Judicial Appointments Regulations 2013.
In order to consider a recommendation, the Appropriate Authority may request any information that was available to the JAC in making its recommendation. You should be aware that any information you provide in your application or during the selection process could be passed onto the Welsh Government.
For this exercise the Appropriate Authority will be the Welsh Government who can accept or reject a recommendation or ask the Commission to reconsider. The Appropriate Authority may not select an alternative candidate.
Outcome of the exercise
The JAC will issue results by email to all those interviewed at the same time. We hope this will be by the end of March 2019.
If you are not successful following the selection day, you can request written feedback. You should make this request within 6 weeks of the email informing you that you have not been successful. We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days.
Training will be provided as required.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, please contact a member of the selection exercise team:
Rebecca Mcknight, Selection Exercise Team Manager: 020 3334 0123
Charlene Gordon, Senior Selection Exercise Team Manager: 020 3334 0387
General enquiries: 0203 334 4613