The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) now invites applications for the post of Resident Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Immigration Asylum Chamber (IAC), and Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Social Entitlement Chamber (SEC) Social Security and Child Support (SSCS).
Launch date: 13:00 on 24 April 2019
Closing date: 13:00 on 15 May 2019
Number of vacancies: 6
Location: Across England and Wales, and Scotland
- IAC: 1 immediate post (Glasgow) and 1 future post (England and Wales, location to be confirmed)
- SEC: 4 immediate posts (Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, and London)
Overview of the role
An opportunity has arisen for the appointment of Resident Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (IAC), and Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Social Entitlement Chamber (SEC) (SSCS). These are key leadership and management positions. In addition to sitting regularly, often dealing with particularly complex and widely significant cases, the Resident Judge and Regional Judge is responsible for the salaried and fee-paid judges and members in the region.
About the tribunal
Immigration and Asylum Chamber
The Immigration and Asylum Chamber deals with some of the most interesting and high-profile cases to be found anywhere in tribunals. Appeals from the Secretary of State for the Home Department are adversarial. In most cases both parties are represented, and often by counsel. You will need to be able to develop judge-craft skills dealing with some of the most vulnerable people. In many cases the Tribunal works closely with the Family Court, particularly in cases involving children where one of the parents is a foreign national.
Social Entitlement Chamber
The Social Entitlement Chamber is one of seven first-tier tribunal chambers, each of which combine jurisdictions with similar interests or operating practices. The Social Entitlement Chamber encompasses social security and child support, criminal injuries compensation, and asylum support.
The social security and child support jurisdiction is responsible for handling appeals against decisions relating to a wide range of benefits including Attendance Allowance, Child Support, Compensation Recovery Scheme/ Road Traffic (NHS) charges, Disability Living Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, State Pension, Statutory sick pay and maternity pay, Tax Credits, Universal Credit, and Vaccine Damage Compensation. There may also be opportunities to be ticketed to Asylum Support and Criminal Injuries Compensation.
Terms and conditions
Before you apply you may wish to read information on the Judicial Pension Scheme:
Judicial pensions - what you need to know
1993 Pensions Scheme Guide
2015 Pensions Scheme Guide
Location and jurisdiction
In your application you will be asked to indicate which of the 6 posts you wish to apply for. If you wish to apply for more than one post you must rank them in order of preference. The dates by which appointments are required are as follows;
IAC (Glasgow) required October 2019
IAC (England and Wales) future vacancy
SEC (Cardiff) required immediately
SEC (London) required immediately
SEC (Glasgow) required April 2020
SEC (Leeds) required April 2020
Please note that if you apply for more than one post, you may be recommended to any of the posts you have applied for. Advice on selecting locations and jurisdictions is available. Information on selection for future vacancies is also available.
Salaried part-time working
Salaried part-time working would be considered for SEC posts only, on working a minimum of 80%. Salaried part-time working cannot be accommodated by lengthy breaks. Part week is suitable due to the need to have regular contact with the administration and Judicial Office holders. The JAC encourages applications from anyone who may be interested in pursuing this option where a post is advertised as being open to salaried part-time working. Final working patterns will need to be discussed and agreed with the business area and Chamber President on appointment and be consistent with the Tribunal’s needs.
The Commission only considers eligibility after the shortlisting stage. You should carefully consider whether you are likely to be eligible before applying.
Judges of the First-tier Tribunal are appointed by the Senior President of Tribunals under paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 2 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement (TCE) Act 2007, as amended by paragraph 42(2) of Schedule 13 to the Crime and Courts Act 2013.
You are eligible to apply for this post if:
a) you satisfy the judicial-appointment eligibility condition* on a 5-year basis
b) you are an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least 5 years standing
c) you are a barrister or solicitor in Northern Ireland of at least 5 years standing
d) in the opinion of the Senior President of Tribunals, you have gained experience in law which makes you as suitable for appointment as if you satisfy any of the conditions at (a) to (c)
*The judicial-appointment eligibility condition was introduced by the TCE Act and requires candidates to have held a relevant qualification, for the requisite period during which time they must have gained experience in law, as set out in section 52(2) to (5) of the TCE Act. For this exercise, a relevant qualification means solicitors and barristers in England and Wales, and Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. The requisite period is 5 years.
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
Candidates are expected to have previous judicial experience, sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity, or a similar role such as the chair of an equivalent body for which a legal qualification is required.
An equivalent body is one of a quasi-judicial nature for which the powers and procedures should resemble those of a court of law. It should involve highly complex matters, requiring its members to objectively determine the facts, draw conclusions and reach a reasoned decision. Such decisions could result in the imposition of a penalty, and that are likely to affect the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties. Examples could include, but are not restricted:
- Disciplinary tribunals and conduct hearings for professional standards bodies
- Parole Board
- Chair of a statutory inquiry
The length of judicial experience required is a minimum of 30 completed sitting days since appointment, not including training or sick days.
Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate has demonstrated the necessary skills in another significant way should an exception be made.
Posts in Wales
Candidates for posts in Wales need to have an understanding, or the ability to acquire an 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.
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 Resident Judge or Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually five 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.
At the time of application, candidates must be either a:
- UK citizen
- citizen of another Commonwealth country
- citizen of the Republic of Ireland
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: 13:00 on 24 April 2019
Close for applications: 13:00 on 15 May 2019
Independent assessments requested: 16 May 2019
Deadline for receipt of independent assessments: 30 May 2019
Outcome of shortlisting and selection day invitations issued: 12 June 2019
Selection days: 29 July to 1 August 2019
Outcome of selection days issued: End of October
Please read the job description and the competency framework for the role before making your application. There are six competencies in total that list the behaviours of a Resident Judge or Regional Judge of the First-tier Tribunal 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
At the point of application, you will be required to submit contact details for your independent assessors. 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.
Independent assessments will be requested on 16 May 2019 and must be returned by 30 May 2019. Late independent assessments may not be considered. You are therefore advised to notify, where possible, your assessors in advance that you intend to apply and inform them of the period during which assessments will be sought.
You must ensure the correct details (title and email addresses) are provided because all correspondence with your independent assessors will be via email. Errors will cause delays in your assessor being contacted.
Please ensure you only nominate your two assessors in line with the categories below:
- If you are an existing salaried judge you will need to nominate two judicial assessors
- If you are an existing fee-paid judge you will need to nominate one judicial assessor and one professional assessor
- If you do not currently hold judicial office, you will need to nominate two professional assessors.
Judicial independent assessors
These are from relevant judges who can provide evidence based examples of your performance as a judicial office holder against the competencies for this post. One of your judicial independent assessors must be your leadership judge, appraiser, or equivalent.
Professional independent assessors
These are from people who can provide evidence based examples of your performance in your profession against the competencies for this post. One of your professional independent assessors should ideally be your line manager, head of chambers, or equivalent. You may also nominate a judge as a professional assessor, provided they are able to provide an assessment of your professional role against the competencies for this post.
Please do not nominate a JAC Commissioner as an independent assessor. In addition you should not nominate Judge John Aitken or Judge Michael Clements as they are sitting on the selection panel, nor should you nominate Lord Justice Lindblom or Lord Carloway as are they Statutory Consultees.
If after reading the guidance above you are unsure of who you should nominate as an independent assessor, please speak to a member of staff using the contact details below.
Shortlisting is by way of paper sift, taking into account the information contained in your application and independent assessments.
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 Lord Justice Lindblom and for the posts in Scotland with Lord Carloway, the Lord President of the Court of Session. The information provided by the statutory consultees will be used to inform selection decisions.
Information on statutory consultation
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to a selection day which will take place in London on 29 July 2019 to 1 August 2019. We will not be able to accommodate selection days outside of this period.
The selection day for this exercise will comprise a presentation, 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 to inform selection decisions.
Information about selection day, including interviews, situational questioning, and presentation
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure candidates with a disability are not placed at a disadvantage. We will also consider making reasonable adjustments for those candidates with a short-term injury or temporary illness. You may request a reasonable adjustment in your application.
Information on the reasonable adjustments policy
The JAC is required to carry out character checks on all candidates whom it intends to consider for appointment. This requires your signed consent.
Shortlisted candidates will be sent a character consent form to complete.
You should be aware that the JAC expects all character matters to be declared. Any matter that has not been disclosed by you and is brought to the JAC’s attention through its independent checks will be treated as your non-declaration of a relevant matter. You will have no opportunity to make further representations on any declared issue once the matter is before the Selection and Character Committee.
The JAC considers that it is your responsibility to ensure that any record concerning your character is accurate. Details of the bodies with whom JAC will make independent character enquiries are set out in paragraph 11 of the Good Character Guidance and you may wish to contact your professional body to ensure all matters recorded are known to you.
On 4 August 2016 the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2016 came into effect. It allows for the full disclosure to the JAC 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.
You must continue to update the character section of your JAC profile. You have a continuing responsibility to disclose any matter that may arise at any time before you are notified of the outcome of your application.
Failure to disclose any relevant matter is likely to have an adverse effect on your application.
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.
According to the most recent census data, 50.4% of the usual residents of the United Kingdom aged 25 to 74 are women and 11.3% identify as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (‘BAME’) background. As of 2018, 22% of Regional Tribunal Judges identify as women, and 6% of Regional Tribunal Judges identify as being 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 Appropriate Authority.
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. For posts in Scotland the Senior President of Tribunals must consult with Scottish Ministers before appointment decisions.
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 October 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.
Successful candidates may already have had leadership and management training. All candidates will be required to attend all three modules of the "Essential Leadership" programme.
Successful candidates after appointment will have access to the Judicial College training prospectus.
This will be required unless the successful candidate is already an existing salaried judicial office holder at group 6.1 and above.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, please contact a member of the selection exercise team:
Team mailbox: RJ129@judicialappointments.gov.uk
Gemma Montgomery: Selection Exercise Team Manager, 020 3334 6946
Richard Collumbell: Senior Selection Exercise Team Manager, 020 3334 5587