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Senior Circuit Judge – Designated Civil Judge

Salary:  £151,497

Location:  Birmingham and Winchester

The JAC has been asked to identify 2 candidates to recommend for the post of Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Civil Judge.

Who can apply

This exercise is open to:

  • Circuit Judges
  • solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with at least 7 years post-qualification legal experience
  • Recorders and
  • those who have held, as a full-time appointment for at least 3 years, one of the offices listed in Part 1A of Schedule 2 to the Courts Act 1971

In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 3 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.

Candidates are 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 and involve highly complex matters, requiring its members objectively to determine the facts and draw conclusions to reach a reasoned decision.  Such decisions could result in the imposition of a penalty, and they are likely to affect the legal rights, duties or privileges of specific parties.  Examples could include, but are not restricted:

a) Coroner

b) Disciplinary tribunals and conduct hearings for professional standards bodies

c) Arbitration

d) Parole Board

e) 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 in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way should an exception be made.

It is required that the successful candidate must already be authorised or be suitable for authorisation upon appointment to act as a judge of the High Court under section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 in the Queen’s Bench Division and the Administrative Court.

In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 3 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.

The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.

About the role

The Designated Civil Judge carries out significant leadership and management duties. Among other things the post holder is responsible to take overall responsibility for the civil work of the county courts (other than the specialist courts) and District Registries in the area to which they are appointed. That involves providing leadership to the civil judiciary (including Circuit Judges, District Judges and fee paid judiciary) who sit at the courts in that area and ensuring the efficient discharge of judicial business at those courts.

As well as carrying out these duties, the Designated Civil Judge is expected to carry out the full duties of a Circuit Judge and to try the most significant, demanding or specialist cases.

The Presiding judges have confirmed that this Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Civil Judge post is not suitable for salaried part time working or job share. The importance of the workload is at such a level whereby the role can only be performed by a person working full time. This position requires constant daily and weekly attention to the huge variety of administrative and leadership responsibilities

Preparing your application

Throughout the selection process, candidates will be assessed against a set of Skills and Abilities produced for leadership posts. These are aligned to the Judicial Skills and Abilities framework used by the judiciary and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.

Information on completing a self-assessment using the Skills and Abilities will be available on the information page for the exercise which will be published closer to launch. Further information on completing the self-assessment and choosing the best examples is on the JAC website.

You can also create an online account before you apply. The JAC's online application system requires all candidates to create an account before applying for judicial office. Your account will include your personal, character and diversity profiles. This information is stored on the system so, if you apply for another position in the future, you only need to update your details making the application process quicker and easier.

Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.