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Deputy Chairman of the Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales
The JAC has been asked to identify two candidates to recommend for the post of Deputy Chairman of the Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales. This exercise is expected to launch at 13:00 on 14 November 2019.
The Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales is a devolved Tribunal. It is a specialist Tribunal which hears and determines disputes arising between landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings in Wales subject to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, as well as disputes about the condition of drainage of land in Wales under sections 28 to 30 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.
The Tribunal receives around 80 applications a year, of which around 8-10 a year lead to hearings. Some hearings take place by way of telephone. Other hearings take place at locations convenient to the parties across Wales, and are often preceded by a site visit, which forms part of the hearing.
The Tribunal sits in panels of three people, with a legally qualified Chairman or Deputy Chair and two Lay Members. The Deputy Chairman will lead the panel convened to determine a dispute. The two lay panel members – often one farmer and one landowner panel member – sit on the panel to ensure there is understanding of different viewpoints around an issue.
The Deputy Chairperson will be expected to case-manage (from receipt of the application to final hearing) applications allocated to them by the Chairperson. This will involve liaison with the Tribunal's Secretary, careful and prompt consideration of the papers, identification of the issues of fact and of law which are in dispute, and the making, usually of the Deputy's own initiative, of case management directions which are lawful, appropriate, fair, and just.
The Deputy Chairperson will provide legal guidance to the other members of the panel, as well as participating fully in the Tribunal's decision-making. The Tribunal does not ordinarily give oral decisions. It will be the responsibility of the Deputy Chairperson to write the decision, as promptly as practicable after the hearing, setting out the reasons, and to liaise appropriately with the other panel members.
The Deputy Chairperson will be expected to make themselves available for Tribunal work as required, but with an expectation that the Deputy Chairperson should be available to spend 5-10 days per year (which may not be composed of entire days) on Tribunal work, depending on the Tribunal's overall workload and business need.
Although much of the Tribunal's work is conducted remotely, or by telephone, the Deputy Chairperson will be expected to travel to any part of Wales in connection with the Tribunal's work.
The appointment will be for an initial period of five years, renewable thereafter, on such detailed terms and conditions as to the Lord Chancellor shall see fit to apply to the role.
Who can apply
This exercise is open to solicitors and barrister with at least 5 years' post qualification legal experience. Previous judicial experience is not required.
Knowledge and expertise in landlord and tenant law is desirable, as is experience of contested cases.
The successful candidate will need to have an understanding, or the ability to acquire the understanding, of the administration of justice in Wales, including legislation applicable to Wales and Welsh devolution arrangements.
To be kept updated on this exercise, sign up for alerts to receive email notifications when further information is available.