The JAC has been asked to select 2 candidates to recommend as Fee-paid Legal Members of the Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW). Applications for this exercise open on 4 October.
The APW is an independent tribunal. Its function is to determine alleged breaches by elected and co-opted members of Welsh county, county borough and community councils and fire and national park authorities, against their authority’s statutory code of conduct.
About the APW
The APW has 2 statutory functions in relation to breaches of a local authority’s code of conduct:
- to form case or interim case tribunals to consider references from the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, following the investigation of allegations that a member has failed to comply with their authority’s Code of Conduct
- to consider appeals from members against the decisions of local authority standards committees that they have breached the Code of Conduct
At an APW hearing the panel is composed of a legally qualified chairperson and 2 lay members. The chairperson is responsible for writing decisions, advising of adjournments and setting directions where necessary. They must ensure the correct legal process is followed and that the law is correctly applied in light of the evidence given.
Claire Jones is a Legal Member of the APW:
“I originally trained as a solicitor and completed my training within a large commercial practice. After qualifying I returned to my roots in mid-Wales to pursue a legal career in local government in a rural environment.
“For the past 20 years, I have held senior management and governance roles, again providing the opportunity to gain useful and transferable skills.
“In-house and public sector solicitors and barristers have to possess great listening, leadership and team-building skills as well as being able to adapt their legal knowledge and expertise to advise upon and resolve an extraordinarily wide variety of issues.
“All of these attributes make in-house lawyers ideally suited to chairing APW tribunal hearings.
“As a legal member of the APW, I have found the work to be stimulating and rewarding, with plenty of opportunity for networking and training.
“There are clearly challenges associated with decision-making. However I believe that the disadvantages are far out-weighed by the advantages.
“The President of the APW takes an inclusive approach and both lay and legal members are encouraged to contribute to the development of this important tribunal.”
How to apply
This exercise is open to solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with 5 years post qualification legal experience; advocates and solicitors in Scotland of 5 years standing; and barristers and solicitors in Northern Ireland of 5 years standing.
More information about the tribunal and how to apply.