The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) now invites applications for the post of Salaried Principal Judge, First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber (Land Registration).
Launch date: 13:00 on 10 October 2019
Closing date: 13:00 on 24 October 2019
Number of vacancies: 1
Location: London with some travel across England and Wales
The JAC has reviewed the selection exercise process for Leadership posts. Candidates will be assessed at every stage of the selection process against the Leadership Skills and Abilities which are based on the Judicial Skills and Abilities Framework used by the judiciary and the Judicial College.
The selection exercise process for Leadership exercises involves candidates:
- being assessed against a concise list of the required skills and abilities for leadership posts
- providing a statement of suitability detailing how you demonstrate the skills and abilities
- providing a brief factual CV
Further detail is included in the Submitting your application section below.
Overview of the role
The Property Chamber deals with numerous disputes in landlord and tenant, housing and real property law. Cases are predominantly party v party. The Chamber has 3 divisions: Residential Property, Land Registration and Agricultural Land and Drainage.
The jurisdictions witin the Land Registration division include:
- changes to the register
- title,beneficial interests and notices
- adverse possession
- boundary disputes
All Land Registration salaried judges are based in London but are expected travel to sit throughout England and Wales. Hearings are formal and are usually held in HMCTS court or tribunal buildings. The vast majority of cases are references from HM Land Registry and can be technical and challenging. As well as having a good grounding in property law, judges are expected to stay up to date with statutory and caselaw developments. Land Registration judges sit alone. Representation varies but about 50 of litigants are in person.
Terms and conditions
MoJ JUPRA Scheme Guide 1993
MoJ NJPS Scheme Guide 2015
Group 6.1 Pension Note
Salaried part-time working
Some salaried posts may be open to flexible or part-time working. 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. For this post, a minimum 80% working pattern may be accommodated. Salaried part-time working cannot be accommodated by lengthy breaks however. Part week is suitable due to the need to have regular contact with the administration and judicial office-holders. The post-holder will need to be flexible and to adjust their working pattern from time to time to meet business needs. Final working patterns will need to be discussed and agreed with the Chamber President and the business area on appointment and be consistent with the Tribunal’s needs. Candidates will have the opportunity to state their preference for salaried part-time working in their application.
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.
You are eligible to apply for this post if you are:
- a solicitor or barrister in England or Wales with at least 7 years post-qualification legal experience
- an advocate or solicitor in Scotland with at least 7 years post-qualification legal experience
- a barrister or solicitor in Northern Ireland of at least 7 years post-qualification legal experience
- 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 above
Additional selection criteria
Candidates must have a high level of expertise in the field of land registration law and practice.
Candidates are also 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.
Information for candidates concerning interpretation of the additional selection criteria
If you are not a judge in either a salaried or fee-paid capacity with at least 30 sitting days experience, you should carefully consider whether you have experience in a role which is deemed sufficiently akin to that of a judge.
As the criteria explains, such roles are expected to be quasi-judicial in nature with powers and procedures resembling those of a court of law requiring its members objectively to determine the facts and draw conclusions to reach a reasoned decision. If a legal qualification is not a requisite for the appointment you hold it is less likely that the JAC will consider the criteria to be met. The same is true if you operate in a court or similar setting but as an advisor or member of a panel rather than a panel chair/decision maker.
Under such circumstances, you should consider whether you have demonstrated the skills of a judge in some other significant way.
It will be for the JAC to determine whether a candidate without judicial experience has sufficient directly relevant experience in an equivalent body or whether the candidate’s case is so exceptional it warrants exception.
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 Salaried Principal Judge should allow for a reasonable length of service. For this position it is usually five 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.
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: 13:00 on 10 October 2019
Close for applications: 13:00 on 24 October 2019
Independent assessments requested: 25 October 2019
Deadline for receipt of independent assessments: 8 November 2019
Outcome of shortlisting and selection day invitations issued: late November 2019
Selection day: 10 December 2019
Outcome of selection days issued: late February 2020
Submitting your application
Applications will open at 13:00 on 10 October 2019 via the exercise application page. Read the Skills and Abilities for the role and the Job description before making your application.
Your application will comprise 3 elements:
1) A brief factual CV in a format of your choice but of no more than 2 sides of A4 (Arial, size 11)
2) Your JAC website profile, which includes a brief outline of your legal experience and career history
3) A self-assessment comprising a statement of suitability against the skills and abilities
Candidates should use the brief factual CV as an opportunity to draw the panel’s attention to the standout moments in their career; specifically pulling out the things that have provided you with the experience and skills necessary to apply for the post of Salaried Principal Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, (Property Chamber) Land Registration. Details could include:
- key achievements in particular posts
- any areas of the law they have specialised in particular posts
- notable cases the candidate has been involved in, either as a Judge or as a practitioner
- wider portfolio work, or other activities outside of their main job, particularly where these are relevant to the role
In contrast, the legal experience and career history section of your JAC online profile provides the panel with a brief factual and chronological timeline of your career to date but does not offer the same opportunity as the CV to unpack specific cases or specific roles that provide evidence of your ability to transfer your skills to the post.
Details in the CV and JAC online profile do not need to provide direct evidence against the Skills and Abilities.
Your statement of suitability will provide you with the opportunity to evidence how you demonstrate the 3 elements of the skills and abilities criteria. There is a 400 word limit for each of the 3 criteria sections. When composing your statement of suitability you should explain how and why you consider your expertise, personal qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the post. This is an important part of your application because the panel assesses the information in your statement of suitability against the skills and abilities to determine whether you meet the requirements of the post. You must provide the panel with enough information to make a decision.
- read the skills and abilities to understand what you need to demonstrate
- consider how your own experience relates to or is transferable to the skills and abilities
- reflect on roles, tasks and situations in which you demonstrated those skills and abilities
- select specific examples that best demonstrate the skills and abilities as they are set out
Your legal experience, career history and self-assessment are submitted via the JAC website as part of your online application. To submit your CV you must send it via email to SPJ180@judicialappointments.gov.uk before 13:00 on 24 October 2019. Please ensure the subject header includes your full name. The JAC will confirm receipt of your CV.
Your application for the post will not be considered submitted unless we have confirmed receipt of all 3 elements of your application.
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 25 October 2019 and must be returned by 8 November 2019. Late independent assessments may not be considered. You are therefore strongly advised to notify your assessors in advance of submitting your application 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 by email. Errors will cause delays in your assessor being contacted.
Please ensure you only nominate 2 assessors in line with the categories below:
- if you are an existing salaried judge you will need to nominate 2 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 2 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 Mr Justice Fancourt, Judge Siobhan McGrath or the Senior President of Tribunals (Sir Ernest Ryder), as they are the Statutory Consultee, Judicial Panel Member and the Appropriate Authority respectively.
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.
Candidates will be shortlisted for invitation to selection day by way of a paper sift. A sift panel, comprising a JAC Chair, JAC Independent member, and a judicial panel member, 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 by the end of November 2019. Candidates who are not shortlisted will be able to request written feedback on their application.
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 Upper Tribunal, Lands, Mr Justice Fancourt. The information provided by the statutory consultee will be used to inform selection decisions.
Information on statutory consultation
If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to a selection day. The selection day is scheduled for 10 December 2019 and will take place in London. Please make sure you are available on this date. Alternative dates cannot be accommodated.
The selection day for this exercise will comprise a pre-notified Strategic Leadership Question (formerly called a Presentation), Situational Questioning and an interview where the selection panel will be seeking evidence from you against the skills and abilities for the post. Further details on what will be required of a candidate on selection day will be sent with the invitation to attend.
Information about selection day, including interviews and role plays
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 17 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. Guidance on the approach taken by the JAC to equal merit can found here.
If the Commission, sitting as the Selection and Character Committee, considers two or more candidates to be of equal merit, a candidate may be selected for the purpose of increasing judicial diversity. The Committee will use the provision based on the data declared by candidates in the diversity part of their online application.
The relevant data used to identify 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 2019).
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 Regional, Deputy Regional Tribunal Judge that are women is 27% and of those who declared their ethnicity 5% 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, 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 Committee will invite those candidates to a second interview, to enable it to make a selection decision. The second interview would be in mid February 2020.
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.
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 2020.
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.
Bespoke training on Leadership and Management will be provided for the successful candidate. In addition, they will have access to the judicial College prospectus upon appointment.
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, please contact a member of the selection exercise team:
Team mailbox: SPJ180@judicialappointments.gov.uk
Jickson Zosi: Selection Exercise Team 020 3334 6139
Gemma Montgomery: Selection Exercise Team Manager 07562 433 985
Richard Collumbell: Senior Selection Exercise Team Manager 020 3334 5587