The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is now inviting applications to fill 1 vacancy for the post of Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber.
Launch date: 13:00 on Thursday 31 May 2018
Closing date: 13:00 on Thursday 14 June 2018
Number of vacancies: 1
Location: Eastern (Cambridge County Court)
Salary: £108,171 (Salary Group 7)
Overview of the role
The Property Chamber was established on 1 July 2013 and deals with a broad range of landlord, tenant and housing cases. The Chamber has 3 divisions: Residential Property, Land Registry and Agricultural Land and Drainage.
Residential Property has the highest caseload of the 3 divisions, dealing with about 10,000 cases a year. Disputes handled by the chamber include:
- the determination of ‘fair’ or ‘market’ rents
- leasehold management disputes, including service charges
- leasehold enfranchisement claims
- appeals against local authority notices about the condition of a property
- appeals relating to the licensing of houses in multiple occupation
- appeals against the imposition of financial penalties for housing offences
- applications for rent repayment orders
- disputes relating to park homes
- disputes about the right to buy where a property is considered to be particularly suitable for the elderly.
The tribunal has five regional areas in England: Greater London, Southern, Eastern, Northern and Midlands. Each region is headed by a Regional Judge supported by a Deputy Regional Judge.
The Regional Judge leads the judges and members in the region and ensures cases are decided justly and fairly, making the most efficient use of resources.
The Regional Judge is expected to sit regularly within the jurisdiction and throughout the region, often dealing with cases that are particularly complex or have wider significance.
Cases are usually heard by a panel of two: either a legally qualified member or a valuer-chair along with a valuer member, professional member or lay member. In certain circumstances a third specialist member will sit on the panel and on other occasions a judge or valuer-chair will sit alone depending on the nature of the case.
Location and jurisdiction
The successful candidate will be based in Cambridge County Court in the Eastern Region. Please note that first-tier salaried tribunal judges must live within reasonable travelling distance of the principal venue at which he or she sits.
Other relevant information – existing judicial office holders
Candidates should be aware that as a consequence of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, the Senior President of Tribunals (the Appropriate Authority as designated by the Judicial Appointment Regulations 2013) would be unable to appoint someone to the office of Judge of the First-tier Tribunal if they already hold that same office but are currently assigned to a different Chamber or jurisdiction, as otherwise he would be appointing to the same office twice.
However, the Senior President wishes to be able to appoint individuals to the First-tier Tribunal even where an individual has currently been holding that office. Therefore, where such a candidate is successful in a JAC exercise, they will be required to resign from any current appointment as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, before being appointed to their new post. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that this will not affect continuity of service and there will be no impact on pension benefits.
A candidate who is an existing Employment Tribunal judge upon appointment to the First-tier Tribunal will be expected to retain their Employment Tribunal appointment. Any sittings in the Employment Tribunal will be agreed with the Chamber President/President and is subject to business needs of the First-tier and the Employment Tribunal.
Salaried part-time working
Salaried part-time working may be suitable for this post on the working minimum of 80%. Salaried part time working can only be accommodated by working full weeks and in blocks of periods of a minimum of at least 6 weeks. Candidates would have to be flexible, that is that he/she would have to be prepared to vary their work pattern to accommodate the work needed. The exact working pattern(s) will have to be agreed between HMCTS, the Tribunal and the successful candidate(s) at the time of appointment subject to business need.
Terms and Conditions
MOJ Jupra 1993 Pension Scheme Guide
MOJ NJPS 2015 Pensions Scheme Guide
Group 7 Pension Note
To be considered for appointment you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post. As we will not be assessing eligibility until after the shortlisting stage, it is your responsibility, and in your own interest, to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting an application.
Under paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, as amended by paragraph 42(2) of Schedule 13 to the Crime and Courts Act 2013 a person is eligible for appointment as a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal if the person -
2(a) satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 5-year basis;
(b) is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least five years’ standing;
(c) is a barrister or solicitor in Northern Ireland of at least five years’ standing, or
(d) in the Senior President of Tribunals opinion, has gained experience in law which makes the person as suitable for appointment as if the person satisfied any of paragraphs (a) to (c).
The meaning of “gain experience in the law” is set out in section 52(2) to (5) of the above Act and relates to a period engaged in law related activities.
“Relevant qualification” means a solicitor, a barrister or a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.
In order to meet the statutory qualifications for appointment, a solicitor (or a salaried judicial office holder who was formerly a solicitor) must appear on the Roll.
Additional Selection Criteria
The Lord Chancellor expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant previous judicial experience. Only in exceptional cases, and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way, should an exception be made.
The meaning of 'directly relevant experience' is sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity. For fee-paid judges at the point of application, the length of directly relevant previous judicial experience should be a minimum of 30 completed sitting days, not including days taken for training purposes or sickness, since appointment in a fee paid capacity.
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 Regional Judge should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually 5 years before retirement.
The Commission 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.
You should note that the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 applies to this office. For further details please refer to the outline terms and conditions.
Open for applications: 31 May 2018
Close for applications: 14 June 2018
Independent assessments requested: 19 June 2018
Completed consent forms for character checks due: 22 June 2018
Deadline for receipt of Independent assessments: 3 July 2018
Outcome of shortlisting issued: 1 August 2018
Selection days: 13 and 14 September 2018
Additional interviews (if required following application of the equal merit provision): Week commencing 15 October 2018. Further information regarding the equal merit provision can be found below.
Outcome of selection days issued: Early November 2018
Throughout the exercise you will be assessed against the competency framework for the role of a Regional Judge of First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber. The competencies are aligned to the Judicial Skills and Abilities framework used by Judicial Office and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.
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.
Please ensure that you read the competencies for the post and the job description before making your application. There are 6 competencies in total which list the behaviours of a Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber 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 into the post to enable you to perform effectively in the role. You should link your examples to the competencies required for the post giving 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 competency framework.
When asked to provide details of your independent assessors you will see four boxes for the assessor details. However, you must give details of two assessors only. If you provide more than two we will only approach the first two listed.
Independent assessments should provide evidence that you have the competencies relevant to the role of a Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber, Residential Property. Both of your assessors must, therefore, have sound and comprehensive knowledge of your work and one of your assessors should, ideally, be from your current employment. Depending on whether you already hold judicial office or not will determine the category or categories of assessors you must nominate as follows:
If you are a salaried judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of two judicial assessors. You should also discuss your application with your Leadership Judge.
If you are a fee-paid judicial office holder, you will need to provide details of one judicial assessor and one professional assessor.
If you do not currently hold a judicial office, you will need to provide details of two professional assessors.
A professional assessor could be:
- a senior partner or head of chambers if you are a solicitor or barrister
- 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
- the Lord Justice Clerk
You must ensure 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 Judge Siobhan McGrath (Chamber President of the Property Chamber), Judge Martin Rodger QC (Deputy Chamber President, Lands Chamber) or Sir Ernst Ryder (Senior President of the Tribunals) as independent assessors, as they are the judicial panel member, Statutory Consultee and the Appropriate Authority respectively.
Conflict of interest
The JAC Commissioners are listed on the JAC website; please do not nominate a Commissioner as an independent assessor. You should also state in the application form if you are in any way related to, or known by any of the Commissioners and give details.
You are asked not to nominate an independent assessor whom you know is applying for the same exercise. Such an assessor will be conflicted and the JAC may ask you to find an alternative.
The first stage in the selection process is a paper sift. A sift panel, consisting of a JAC Chair, Judicial Member and a JAC independent panel member will consider the information provided in your application form and the independent assessments received.
If you are not successful following shortlisting, you can request written feedback by emailing the Selection Team on (PC094@judicialappointments.gov.uk). 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 shortlisted, you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in London between Thursday 13 and Friday 14 September 2018. We will not be able to offer an alternative selection day outside of this period.
For this exercise the selection day will include situational questioning, a short presentation and a competency based interview. Situational questioning involves asking you what you would do in a specific situation, based on challenging, real-life scenarios. Further details about the situational questions will be sent along with the invitation to selection day.
The topic of the presentation will be provided one week before the selection day.
The panel will use the evidence you provide at selection day and within your application, as well as statutory consultation and independent assessments to make an overall assessment, which will be provided to the Commissioners when they make their selection decisions.
Information about selection day, including interviews and role plays
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 Judge Martin Rodger QC, Deputy Chamber President, Lands Chamber. 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 on 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 PC094@judicialappointments.gov.ukby 27 June 2018.
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 policy 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 courts judiciary (as of 1 April 2017), 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 BAME is 11.3%. The proportion of First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber judges that are women is 54% and of those who declared their ethnicity, 11% declared they were from a BAME background.
If the Committee has applied the equal merit provision, it may be presented with a situation whereby it is unable to choose between two or more candidates on the basis of their relevant protected characteristics. For example, two candidates assessed as being of equal merit may both be white men. If this situation arises, the equal merit provision cannot be used to make a selection. Therefore the Committee will invite those candidates to a second interview, to enable it to make a selection decision. The provisional date for the second interview is the week commencing 15 October 2018.
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 Lord Chancellor.
For this exercise the Appropriate Authority will be the Senior President of Tribunals 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 early November 2018.
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.
If you are offered a post you will normally be expected to take up the post within 6 months.
Dependant on the successful candidate, training will be arranged accordingly. The successful candidate will also have access to the Judicial College training prospectus after appointment.
Additionally, the Residential Property division of the Chamber holds regular training events which will be available as required.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, please contact PC094@judicialappointments.gov.uk or a member of the selection exercise team:
Sean Conway 020 3334 6710
Christine Holtz 020 3334 6854
Jonathan Smith 020 3545 8752
Lisa Grant 020 7340 0505