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Role details

Online Procedure Rule Committee - Legal Expert

Application deadline 24 October 2022

Summary

Organisation
Tribunal Procedure Committee
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Location
London
Sector
Regulation
Skills
Legal
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
1 day(s) per month
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
6pm on 24 October 2022

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    21 September 2022

  2. Application deadline

    6pm on 24 October 2022

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:
• Must be a barrister in England and Wales, a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, or a legal executive
• An interest in justice, law, court procedure, and digital services
• Commitment to putting the needs of users at the centre of the rule making process
• The ability to analyse and debate complex issues
• Effective interpersonal and communication skills including demonstrable ability to engage with stakeholders
• An understanding of diversity issues
• Demonstrable ability to express complicated matters in plain English

Desirable criteria

Candidates should ideally have experience in one or more of the following areas:
• Experience of digital change and innovation would be an advantage
• The ability to contribute to, and influence, committee meetings
• Excellent time management skills
• Experience of helping users navigate court processes
• A knowledge of the existing work developing the digital justice system, including the HMCTS reform programme and current online dispute resolution.

Role description

Role description

Members will be expected to play an active role in the OPRC and have collective responsibility for the creation and operation of the Online Procedure Rules. In particular, members will be expected to:
• Engage fully in Committee meetings, giving full consideration to the issues and taking account of all relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice or by the Lord Chancellor.
• Attend approximately 10 Committee meetings a year and participate in at least 1 working group. Frequency of working group meetings and associated work will depend on the priorities and work programme the Committee sets, working closely with the Lord Chancellor and Senior Judiciary.
• Read and consider papers outside of meetings. Keep abreast of paperwork and issues relating to the work of the OPRC. Candidates will be expected to put time aside ahead of meetings to review paperwork.
• Be prepared to represent the Committee publicly.
• Ensure that the OPRC’s responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (including prompt responses to public requests for information) are discharged, agree contributions to publications as required.
• Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to the Ministry of Justice.
• Ensure that the Committee does not exceed its powers or functions.
From time-to-time issues of a confidential nature may arise during Committee work. The duty of confidentiality obliges members to respect the confidentiality of such work. Confidential information that members obtain during the course of membership of the Committee must not be shared by committee members except to the extent permitted by the Chair.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide:
• A CV (maximum two sides of A4) detailing your qualifications, employment history and any appointments or offices you hold. Please also provide your preferred contact number and email address.
• A personal statement (maximum two sides of A4) providing evidence against the role criteria and your suitability for the post, including evidence of leadership qualities and a vision for the organisation. Please consider the role and criteria carefully in preparing your statements. Information from AAPs indicates that applications which offer specific and tailored examples against the criteria, making clear the candidate’s role in achieving an outcome, are often the strongest. Structuring the statement around the criteria using relevant headings also aids clarity. 
  
Supporting Documents form (below)
Please also complete and return the Applicant Supporting Documents form which seeks the following information:
• Conflicts of interest and Previous Conduct: If you have any interests that might be relevant to the work of the Online Procedure Rule Committee and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting documents.
• Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of Parliament and the public. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media. The Advisory Assessment Panel may explore any issues with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment. Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated.
• Conflicts might arise from a variety of sources such as financial interests or share ownership, membership of, or association with, particular bodies or the activities of relatives or partners. If you need further advice, please contact Kasim Raja at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk
• Significant Political Activity - In line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, details of any declared activity will be made public if you are appointed;
• Number of other public appointments - please list any appointments currently held;
• Referee details – please give names/contact details of two referees (who will be contacted if you are shortlisted for interview).
PLEASE COMPLETE APPLICANT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS HERE
PLEASE COMPLETE DIVERSITY MONITORING FORM Microsoft form HERE
A copy of the CANDIDATE INFORMATION PACK can be found HERE

Overview of the application process

Public appointments are made on merit following a fair and open competition process which is conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. We will deal with your application as quickly as possible and will keep you informed at key stages. We aim to conclude the appointment process within three months of the deadline for applications – this is in accordance with the Governance Code.

The assessment process

  1. Ministers are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the public appointments made within their department. As a result, they must be consulted at every stage of the appointments process.

  2. An Advisory Assessment Panel (“Panel”) is appointed by Ministers to assist them in their decision making. The role of the Panel is to decide, objectively, which candidates meet the eligibility criteria for the role.

  3. At the shortlisting meeting the Panel will assess applications against the eligibility criteria and decide which candidates have best met the criteria, who should be recommended for interview. Ministers will then be consulted on the Panel’s recommended shortlist. If you have applied under the Disability Confident Scheme and you meet all the essential criteria, then you will also be invited for an interview.

  4. Once the shortlist has been agreed by Ministers, you will be advised (by e-mail) whether you have been shortlisted. Those shortlisted will be invited to an interview.

  5. The Panel will meet again to interview candidates and determine who is appointable to the role. The Panel may invite you to make a brief presentation at the start of the interview and will go on to question you about your skills and experience, including asking specific questions to assess whether you meet the criteria set out for the post. The Panel will also explore with you any potential conflicts of interest or any other issues arising from your personal and professional history which may impact on an appointment decision.

  6. Details of the panel’s assessment of interviewed candidates are provided to Ministers, including whether they have judged a candidate to be appointable to the role. It is then for Ministers to determine merit and decide who should be appointed. In some circumstances, Ministers may choose not to appoint any candidates and re-run the competition.

  7. Ministers may choose to meet with candidates before deciding the outcome. Candidates should therefore be prepared for a short time gap between interview and a final appointment decision being made. Candidates who have been interviewed will be kept informed of progress.

  8. Once the decision on the appointment has been made, interviewed candidates will be advised of the outcome of their application, including whom they may approach for feedback. Successful candidates will be issued with their Terms & Conditions and a letter of appointment should they agree to take up the position.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on gov.uk.

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
• Isobel Clarke or Sarah Rose – Deputy Directors, MOJ Dispute Resolution 
• Lord Justice Colin Birss - Judicial member 
• Nicolina Andall - Independent Panel Member Practising Commercial Lawyer

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

• There must be no employment restrictions, or limit on your permitted stay in the UK. • You should not be employed in the UK Civil Service.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact  [ADD CONTACT DETAILS]

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines.
This will involve completion of several paper and electronic forms and can take up to five weeks to process following completion of the forms. Candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. 
As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘minimum criteria,’ we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.
If you have a disability and require

any arrangements or adjustments for any part of the recruitment or selection process, please state clearly on your form and contact the Public Appointments Team at PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk

Further information can be found via this link: https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/recording-whether-or-not-you-have-a-disability/

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2. These are:

  1. SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends;
  2. INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties;
  3. OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit;
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office;
  5. OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;
  6. HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest;
  7. LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 
Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

You can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs which are properly and necessarily incurred on official business, in line with the travel and subsistence policy and rates for the organisation to which you are applying. However these payments are taxable as earnings and will be subject to tax and national insurance, both of which will be deducted at source under PAYE before you are paid.  

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon the end of your term of appointment because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact Maggie Garrett, Ministry of Justice, Head of the Public Appointments Team, ALB Centre of Expertise, Ministry of Justice, E-mail address: PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.ukthe  in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

In accordance with the Public Appointments Order in Council 2019(4)(5), we will process your application in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Ministry of Justice’s Information Charter, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/personal-information-charter.
Your data will be held securely and access will be restricted to those dealing with your application or involved in the recruitment process. Your data may also be shared with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and other relevant government departments, including the Cabinet Office, as part of a complaint investigation or review of the recruitment process. Cabinet Office will handle data in accordance with their Privacy Notice https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/privacy-notice. Your data may also be disclosed as required by law or in connection with legal proceedings.
Your data will be stored for up to two years and processed for the purpose of the recruitment process, diversity monitoring and, if successful, your personal record. If appointed, your data will be stored for the duration of your tenure and may be shared with the organisation to which you are appointed, unless you specifically request us not to.
Should you wish your data to be removed from our records, please contact publicappointmentsteam@Justice.gov.uk.

Contact details

Raja, Kas at Kasim.Raja@justice.gov.uk