Role details

PAT160072: Practitioner member - Family Procedure Rule Committee

Application deadline 13 February 2023

Summary

Organisation
Family Procedure Rule Committee
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Location
London
Sector
Regulation
Skills
Legal, Judicial, Regulation
Number of vacancies
1
Time commitment
9 day(s) per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11am on 13 February 2023

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    16 January 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 13 February 2023

  3. Sifting date

    31 March 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    31 May 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

Person specification

Essential criteria

Candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

·         Having the appropriate experience for the appointment required by s.77(2) of the

Courts Act 2003; (the appointment is not restricted to solicitors but it must be someone who has been authorised by a relevant approved regulator to conduct litigation in relation to all proceedings in the Senior Courts and has particular experience of family practice in the family court);

·         Interest in the broad field of law concerning family courts, rule making process, and a commitment  to the simplification and reform of family justice procedures;

·         Evidence of sound committee experience and inter-personal skills;

·         Understanding and knowledge of the court processes and administrative procedures within the family jurisdiction;

·         Evidence of the ability to work in a committee; take an active and influential part in debate and to make time to serve on the Committee.

Desirable criteria

·         A commitment to valuing diversity

Role description

Introduction

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Practitioner member of the Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC).

You may already have some idea about the important work of the Committee and the following pages will tell you more about the FPRC’s purpose and the nature of the role of members.

The FPRC is a statutory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, which makes rules of court for the Family Division of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and county courts.

We are looking for one new member to represent the practitioners’ views on discussions at the Committee. We welcome applicants from the widest possible field so please note that this appointment is not restricted to solicitors but it must be someone who has been authorised by a relevant approved regulator to conduct litigation in relation to all proceedings in the Senior Courts and has particular experience of family practice in the family court.

If you have further questions about this post, you are welcome to speak to Simon Qasim, Secretary to the Family Procedure Rule Committee on 07540 271184 or by email to FPRCsecretariat@justice.gov.uk

If you have questions about the appointment process, you can contact Ria Vadgama at the Public Appointments Team at:  PublicAppointmentsTeam@justice.gov.uk

If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, I hope you consider applying for this important position.

Ana Popa

Ministry of Justice

Head of Public Law policy team

Role description

The role of a Practitioner  Member

Members of the Committee have collective responsibility for the operation of this body.  They must:

·         Engage fully in collective consideration of the issues, taking account of the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Ministry of Justice or by the Lord Chancellor.

·         Ensure that its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (including prompt responses to public requests for information) are discharged; agree an Annual Report; and, where practicable and appropriate, hold at least one meeting a year in public.

·         Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary with reference to the Ministry of Justice. 

·         Ensure that the Committee does not exceed its powers or functions.

Communications between the Committee and the Lord Chancellor will generally be through the Chair.  Nevertheless, any Committee member has the right of access to Ministers on any matter which he or she believes raises important issues relating to his or her duties as a Committee member.  In such cases the agreement of the rest of the Committee should normally be sought.

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 used for the benefit of their own or others’ use.

Individual Committee members can be removed from office by the Lord Chancellor if they fail to perform the duties required of them in line with the standards expected in public office.

Organisation description

About the Family Procedure Rule Committee

The Family Procedure Rule Committee was set up in October 2004 to make the Family Procedure Rules. The aim is to produce one set of simple and simply expressed rules of court for all family proceedings in the High Court and, as they were then known, the county courts and magistrates’ courts. The Family Procedure Rules were made in 2010 and implemented in April 2011. The Rules and supporting Practice Directions will be maintained and developed to support new legislation and policy initiatives.

Day-to-day management of the committee’s agenda, and the programme of work, which springs from it, is undertaken by the committee secretariat, in close consultation with the chair of the committee. The secretariat is part of a team of policy officials at the Ministry of Justice tasked with managing the committee’s work.

This is the link to the FPRC webpage: About us - Family Procedure Rule Committee - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide:

  1. A  Curriculum Vitae which provides your contact details, details of your education and qualifications, employment history, directorships, membership of professional bodies and details of any relevant publications or awards;

  2. A supporting statement setting out how you meet the criteria for appointment, as set out in the person specification for the role;

  3. Information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues;

  4. Diversity monitoring information. Please complete by clicking on the link: PAT160072 - FPRC Diversity Monitoring form . This allows us to see if there are any unfair barriers to becoming a public appointee and whether there are any changes that we could make to encourage a more diverse field to apply. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be used as part of the selection process and will not be seen by the interview panel;

  5. Disability Confident – please state if you want to be considered for the disability confident scheme;

  6. Reasonable adjustments - requests for reasonable adjustments that you would like to the application process (if applicable);

Please provide the information at points 3-6 above on the relevant form, or as part of your supporting statement.
Completed applications should be submitted to publicappointmentsteam@justice.gov.uk quoting the reference PAT160072.

The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all of the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications.

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.
The panel is the following: 
  • Ana Popa , Ministry of Justice ,Head of Public Law policy team (Panel Chair) 
  • Joy Teddy-Jimoh , Family Procedure Rules Secretariat
  • Rudi Page- Independent Panel Member

Eligibility criteria

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

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

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 the publicappointmentsteam@justice.gov.uk

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, 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.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

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 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 the Maggie Garrett in the public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at publicapppointmentsteam@justice.gov.uk. They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.

Our Personal Information 

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. 

We will hold your data securely and access will be restricted to those dealing with your application or involved in the recruitment process. We will share your data 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. 

We will store your data 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

Information regarding the application process contact: Ria Vadgama , Public Appointments Team - publicappointmentsteam@justice.gov.uk 
Information regarding the role contact: Simon Qasim , Secretary to the Family Procedure Rule Committee FPRCsecretariat@justice.gov.uk