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Fee-paid Legal Members of the Adjudication Panel for Wales
Number of vacancies: two
Fee: £414 a day
The JAC has been asked to identify two candidates to recommend for the post of Fee-paid Legal Member of the Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW). This exercise opened at 13:00 on 4 October 2018 and closed at 13:00 on 18 October 2018.
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.
Although the tribunal is funded by the Welsh Government, the tribunal, its members and decisions are independent of central and local government.
Who can apply
This exercise is open to solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with at least 5 years post qualification legal experience; advocates and solicitors in Scotland of at least 5 years standing; and barristers and solicitors in Northern Ireland of at least 5 years standing.
In addition, candidates should be able to demonstrate the ability to acquire knowledge of the law providing for statutory standards of conduct in local authorities in Wales.
Candidates for posts will also need to have an understanding, or the ability to acquire the 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.
Candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of at least 4 years, before retirement.
About the tribunal
The Code of Conduct for an authority provides its members with a set of standards expected of them in public life. The Code of Conduct covers various requirements as to how members should conduct themselves and includes requirements in relation to equality, personal and prejudicial interests, confidential information, their authority’s resources and the need to avoid bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
The APW has two statutory functions in relation to breaches of the 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
The APW operates in accordance with its procedural regulations and other associated legislation. The regulations ensure that all cases heard by the APW are treated fairly, consistently, promptly and justly.
At an APW hearing the panel is composed of a legally qualified chairperson and two 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.
APW hearings will normally be held in public and take place near to the authority area.
About the appointments
It is important that the judiciary reflects the diversity of the society it serves. The Adjudication Panel for Wales (‘APW’) is a small tribunal and, unusually within the judiciary, currently all female and all white. The JAC encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under-represented in the APW and wider judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.”
The tribunal covers the whole of Wales. Candidates must be able to travel independently throughout Wales and be willing to stay overnight when necessary.