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Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Family Judge
Launch date: 21 January 2020, 13:00
Closing date: 4 February 2020, 13:00
The JAC has been asked to identify six candidates to recommend for the post of Senior Circuit Judge, Designated Family Judge. The vacancies arise in the following locations:
- x 1 East London (East London Family Court);
- x 1 West London (West London Family Court);
- x 1 Central London (Central Family Court, First Avenue House);
- x 1 Lancaster (Lancaster County and Family Court);
- x 1 Cardiff (Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre); and
- x 1 Newcastle (Newcastle upon Tyne Combined Court Centre).
About the role
The Designated Family Judge (DFJ) carries out significant leadership and management duties. Every Designated Family Centre has a DFJ who is responsible for that centre and for other family hearing centres in the area. They are responsible for leading all levels of the family judiciary (including other Circuit Judges as well as the district bench, magistrates and legal advisers) at the courts for which they have responsibility, and for ensuring the efficient and effective discharge of judicial family business at those courts.
The DFJ assists the Family Division Liaison Judge for the circuit in ensuring that each Designated Family Centre and the courts in his or her area are run as efficiently and effectively as possible, within the resources they are allocated, and that the other family judges and the staff at those courts play their part in this. The DFJs will work closely with the Resident Judge and the Designated Civil Judge in their area to discuss and reach agreement on issues concerning the administration of justice across the jurisdictions.
Who can apply?
This exercise is open to:
- those who satisfy the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis;
- 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 of the Courts Act 1971.
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 to:
- 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 in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way can an exception be made.
The successful candidate must already be authorised or be suitable for authorisation upon appointment to the pool of judges able to act as a judge of the High Court under section 9(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 as amended. Deployment to the High Court Division(s) will be a matter for the respective Head(s) of Division.
In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of three years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.
The JAC 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.
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 statement of suitability using the Skills and Abilities framework will be available on the information page for the exercise which will be published closer to the launch of the exercise.
Sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise until the launch.