The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is now inviting applications for Senior Circuit Judge, Resident Judge. One vacancy is in Liverpool and the other in Teesside.
Launch date: 13:00 on 11 October 2018
Closing date: 13:00 on 25 October 2018
Number of vacancies: 2
Number of applications: 105
Number of selections: 1. Further data on this exercise, including diversity data, will be published by the JAC as part of its annual official statistics bulletin.
Location: 1 post is at Liverpool Crown Court and the other, Teesside Crown Court
Salary: £145, 614 (salary group 5)
Overview of the role
Every Crown Court has a Resident Judge, responsible for leading the judiciary at the court and for ensuring the efficient and effective discharge of judicial business. Resident Judges are responsible for ensuring effective case management within the court centre as well as managing their own cases and caseload.
Through the Presiding Judges and Senior Presiding Judge, Resident Judges assist the Lord Chief Justice in discharging his overall responsibility for representing the views of the judiciary; for maintaining appropriate arrangements for the welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary; and for maintaining arrangements for the deployment of the judiciary and the allocation of work within the courts.
Terms and Conditions
MoJ JUPRA Scheme Guide 1993
MoJ NJPS Scheme Guide 2015
Location and jurisdiction
Liverpool Crown Court is the largest court on the Northern Circuit, with a high workload of complex, heavyweight and organised crime. More than 20% of the workload is class 1 and 2. The court also deals with a significant number of Serious/Specialist Fraud and National Crime Agency prosecutions.
Teesside is the fourth largest Crown Court on the North-East Circuit with a workload comprising of complex heavyweight and multi-handed crime. It is also the hub for the North-East Circuit in relation to European Investigation Orders.
A Circuit Judge must live within reasonable travelling distance of the courts at which he or she will sit. No application for a transfer may be made until a judge has served five years in the circuit to which they are appointed.
Your posting preferences
You are required to indicate in your application the post(s) you wish to be considered for (Liverpool or Teesside). Please note that selections are made solely on merit. Advice on selecting locations and jurisdictions is available.
Salaried part-time working
The Presiding Judges have confirmed that these posts are not suitable for salaried part-time work/job share.
Reading about candidates previously selected for this role is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed. Read Peter Lodder's case study.
To be considered for appointment you must meet the eligibility requirements for this post.
Under section 16(3) of the Courts Act 1971, as amended by section 71 and Schedule 10 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and by section 50 and Schedule 10 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCE Act), no person shall be qualified to be appointed a Circuit Judge unless:
(a) they satisfy the judicial appointment eligibility condition* on a 7 year basis;
(b) they are a Recorder; or
(c) they have held, as a full-time appointment for at least 3 years, one of the offices listed in Part 1A of Schedule 2 to the Courts Act 1971
* The TCE Act introduced the ‘judicial-appointment eligibility condition’. You will have to show that:
- you have possessed a relevant legal qualification
- for the requisite period and
- that whilst holding that qualification you have been gaining legal experience
The meaning of gaining legal experience is set out in section 52(2) to (5) of the TCE Act and relates to a period engaged in law related activities. "Relevant legal qualification" means a solicitor or a barrister.
Existing Senior Circuit Judges and Circuit Judges are also able to apply.
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 30 completed sitting days, not including days taken for training purposes or sickness, since appointment in a fee paid capacity.
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.
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 Senior Circuit Judge, Resident Judge should allow for a reasonable length of service, usually of three 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.
Open for applications: 13:00 on 11 October 2018
Close for applications: 13:00 on 25 October 2018
Eligibility checks being conducted: November 2018
Request for independent assessments: 30 October 2018
Deadline for the receipt of independent assessments: 13 November 2018
Outcome of shortlisting issued: late November 2018
Statutory consultation comments sought: late November 2018
Selection days: 11 to 12 December 2018
Character checks being conducted: December 2018
Outcome of selection process expected by: end of February 2019
Read the competency framework for the role and the job description before making your application. There are five competencies in total that list the behaviours of a Senior Circuit Judge, Resident Judge who is performing the role effectively.
Completing your application
This competition will open for applications at 13:00 on 11 October 2018, closing at 13:00 on 25 October 2018.
In the interest of fairness to all candidates, late applications will not be accepted unless agreed with the selection exercise manager in advance of the application deadline and will only be considered due to exceptional circumstances.
Applications must be submitted on the JAC’s online application system which will be accessible by selecting the ‘Apply’ button on the competition homepage once the exercise launches. After selecting ‘Apply’ select ‘log in to an existing account’ if you already have an account. If you do not already have an account select ‘Create new account’. Complete all the required sections, ensuring the information you provide is clear and accurate.
The self-assessment section of the application is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to perform effectively in the role; it should not simply be a reiteration of your career history. For each competency you must provide specific examples from your own experiences, describing the situation, your role, what you did, and the outcome. You must be concise as you are limited to 250 words for each competency.
Guidance on completing the candidate self-assessment and choosing the best examples in your self-assessments.
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, in the online application form, 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 Senior Circuit Judge, Resident Judge. 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, barrister, attorney or Fellow of CILEx
- a client, magistrate or local authority official if you are a sole practitioner
- a line manager if you are from a non-legal background; if there is no line manager, then a former colleague or client
- 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 the President of the Queen’s Bench Division (Lord Justice Leveson), Senior Presiding Judge (Lady Justice Macur) or the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Justice Burnett) as they are the Statutory Consultee, Judicial Panel Member and the Appropriate Authority respectively. Nor should you nominate a JAC Commissioner.
If you have any queries about who to nominate as your independent assessors please contact the JAC.
Candidates will be shortlisted for invitation to selection day by way of a paper sift. A sift panel, consisting of a JAC Chair and a judicial member - who for this exercise is the Senior Presiding Judge (Lady Justice Macur) - will consider the information contained in your application form and the independent assessments received.
Outcome of shortlisting
The outcome of shortlisting will be emailed to candidates late November 2018. Candidates who are not shortlisted will be able to request written feedback on their application.
If you are shortlisted you will be invited to attend a selection day which are scheduled to take place on:
Alternative dates cannot be accommodated. Selection days are due to take place in London.
The selection day for this exercise will comprise situational questioning and a competency based interview where the selection panel will be seeking evidence from you against the competencies for the post. Further details on what will be required of a candidate on selection day will be sent with the invitation to attend.
More 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 the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Lord Justice Leveson. The information provided by the Statutory Consultee will be used by the panel in preparation for selection day, and by the Commission to inform selection decisions.
More 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 online account.
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates whom it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your consent.
All candidates will be required to complete a digital form which will be included in your application form.
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 courts 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 BAME is 11.3%. The proportion of Circuit Judges that are women is 29% and of those who declared their ethnicity, 4% 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 - which for this exercise is the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Burnett - may request any information that was available to the JAC in making its recommendation. Information you provide in your application or during the selection process could be passed on to the Appropriate Authority.
The Appropriate Authority can accept or reject a recommendation or ask the Commission to reconsider but 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 late February 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.
If you are offered a post you will normally be expected to take up the post within 6 months.
The successful candidate after appointment will have access to the Judicial College training prospectus.
Candidates not already Class 1 authorised will be required to attend the serious crime course taking place on 11-13 September 2019. For these post the successful candidates will also have access to the leadership and management development programme run by the Judicial College, advertised in the courts judiciary prospectus.
This will be required unless you are an existing salaried judicial office holder at group 6.1 and above.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, contact:
Email Enquiries: SCJ105@judicialappointments.gov.uk
Kit Patel: Selection Exercise Manager on 020 7334 0503
Joanne Dixon: Selection Exercise Manager on 020 3334 0199
Jennifer Ballance: Senior Appointments Lead on 020 3334 6376