The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) now invites applications for Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber (UTIAC)
Launch date: 13:00 on 9 July 2019
Closing date: 13:00 on 23 July 2019
Location: London. However, successful candidates may also be required to sit in other locations on an occasional basis to meet business needs.
Number of vacancies: up to 25 immediate vacancies
Fee: £625.18 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 Am I ready? for legal roles.
The Upper Tribunal's main jurisdiction is to hear applications and appeals on questions of law from the First-tier Tribunal. Its judges are appointed under Schedule 3 of Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 Act and deputy judges are appointed under paragraph 7 of that schedule. Deputy judges are expected to be available to UTIAC for at least 15 days a year plus any associated time required for finalising judgments and orders.
This competition is for deputy judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber to deal with work arising from the right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal on asylum and immigration cases. The main activities of deputy judges of the Upper Tribunal are set out below. The allocation of work to individual members or classes of member of the Tribunal is a matter for the Senior President and under the allocation in force at present, deputy judges do not deal with judicial review applications. All deputy judges of the Upper Tribunal are (or, if already appointed, remain) judges of the First-tier Tribunal and may be deployed to undertake work there in suitable cases.
- researching (if necessary) and applying the relevant law
- determining questions of fact where necessary
- giving a reasoned oral or written judgment
- giving any directions necessary to give effect to the judgment
- controlling (in accordance with the relevant law and practice) the manner in which hearings are conducted
- ensuring that parties who lack professional representation are enabled to present their cases and have them considered as fully and fairly as possible
- maintaining the authority and dignity of proceedings
- taking a full and accurate note of the submissions of the parties and any oral evidence
- deciding any issues of procedure that may arise during the hearing
- where required, sitting as a non-presiding member of a panel of the Upper Tribunal or First-tier Tribunal
Keeping abreast of legal developments
- participating in training events
Other judicial duties
- contributing to the development of a body of law by circulating decisions of interest
- commenting on decisions circulated by other judges
- developing working relationships with all judicial colleagues in order to promote consistency and excellence of decision-making throughout the Tribunal
- attending meetings of judges and serving on committees concerned with judicial administration
A Deputy Judge is also expected to be IT-literate and to make the fullest use possible of electronic means of research and communication.
A Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal will not be booked to sit in a location that is not within a reasonable travelling distance of their home, save as required by UTIAC’s business needs.
The jurisdiction of the UTIAC covers the whole of the United Kingdom but its main base is in London. All appointees must be prepared to sit in London but may also be asked to sit in other locations, dependent on business needs.
Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber has hearing centres in:
- Central London
- North Shields
- and may sit elsewhere if required
Terms and Conditions
Judicial Pension Scheme 1993
New Judicial Pension Scheme 2015
Reading about candidates previously selected for this role is a useful way of finding out more about the skills needed. Read about Judith Gleeson’s experience as a judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
Parminder Saini is a Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, he explains what he enjoys the role: "I applied to sit as a Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge as I was keen to take on the challenge of a demanding role within the Immigration and Asylum Chamber. This role enables me to really make an impact on our judicial system and evolving jurisprudence. I can highly recommend my journey to others based on the work and the terrific people within the judiciary."
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 section 2 of Schedule 3 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, as amended by Schedule 13 to the Crime and Courts Act 2013, a Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal is appointed by The Senior President of Tribunals.
A person is eligible for appointment only if the person:
- satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis
- is an advocate or solicitor in Scotland of at least seven years’ standing
- is a barrister or solicitor in Northern Ireland of at least seven years’ standing or
- in the opinion of the Senior President of Tribunals, has gained experience in law which makes the person as suitable for appointment as if the person satisfied any of paragraphs 1 to 3
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 barrister or a solicitor.
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.
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 Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber 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.
Other relevant information
An employee of the Home Office or one of its agencies may have a short period of conflict of interest. Accordingly, successful candidates in this position may be offered an appointment to take effect three months after their resignation from their employer.
Candidates should be aware that as a consequence of the TCE 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 Upper 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 of Tribunals wishes to be able to appoint individuals to the Upper 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 Upper Tribunal, before being appointed to their new post.
The appointees to the Upper Tribunal as a result of this selection exercise will be assigned to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. However, to enable them to continue sitting additionally in their previous chamber(s) or jurisdiction(s), the Senior President of Tribunals has confirmed that – subject to their and the Chamber President’s consent – he will also, following their new appointment, assign them back to their previous chamber(s) or jurisdiction(s). The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that this will not affect your continuity of service and there will be no impact on your pension benefits.
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.
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.
Open for applications: 09 July 2019 at 13:00
Close for applications: 23 July 2019 at 13:00
Independent assessments requested: 26 July and returned by 16 August 2019
Outcome of shortlisting process: beginning of October 2019
Provisional selection days: 7 October to 18 October 2019
Outcome of selection days: end of January 2020
You must 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 Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum 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 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
When applying, you will be required to submit contact details for your independent assessors. Please 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 Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber. 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.
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
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
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 the Mr Justice Lane and the Senior President of Tribunals as independent assessors as they are the Statutory Consultee and the Appropriate Authority 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.
More information about sifts
If shortlisted, you will be invited to a selection day which will take place between 7 October and 18 October 2019. We will not be able to offer an alternative interview date outside of this period. Selection days are due to take place in London.
The selection day for this exercise will comprise of situational questioning and a competency based interview during which the selection panel will be seeking evidence from you against the competencies for the post. Situational questioning involves asking you what you would do in a specific situation, based on challenging, real-life scenarios. Further details of the situational questions will be sent along with the invitation to selection day.
The overall assessment made by the panel takes account of evidence from your application, the selection day, and independent assessments. This evidence will be provided to the Commission 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 Mr Justice Lane. 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.
All candidates will be requested to complete a consent form which is included in your application form. The checks will only be requested on shortlisted candidates.
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. Please 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 11.3% of the UK population identifies as being from a Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) background. The proportion of Deputy Judges of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber that are women is 34% and of those who declared their ethnicity 11% declared they were from a BAME background.
If the JAC has applied the equal merit provision, it may be presented with a situation whereby it is unable to choose between 2 or more candidates on the basis of their relevant protected characteristics. For example, 2 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 JAC will invite those candidates to attend a second interview, to enable it to make a selection decision. The second interviews, if required, will provisionally be held between 13 and 17 January 2020.
The Commission 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.
Outcome of the exercise
The JAC will issue results by email to all those interviewed at the same time. We hope this will be in January 2020.
If you are offered a post you will normally be expected to take up the post within 6 months.
The JAC provides feedback to help candidates understand why their application was unsuccessful and to assist with future applications.
After a sift, each unsuccessful candidate will receive individual feedback which summarises the selection panel’s assessment of the evidence provided.
After Selection Day, in fee-paid selection exercises, the JAC will publish a general feedback report. Unsuccessful candidates who are identified as ‘near-miss’ will also be offered individual feedback on request.
Appropriate training will be provided, as required, depending on the background of the particular candidate.
All deputies are mentored initially by an existing salaried judge.
Judicial office holders with no prior judicial experience will be required to attend a 2-day residential Judicial College Faculty Induction seminar within 12 months of starting to sit.
The successful candidate after appointment will have access to the Judicial College training prospectus.
If you have any questions regarding this role or your application, contact the JAC at DJUTIAC138@judicialappointments.gov.uk or
Rachel Billingham: 07889413589