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Role details

Civil Justice Council Non-Judicial Member - PAT 160076

Application deadline 8 March 2023


Civil Justice Council
Sponsor department
Ministry of Justice
Judicial, Prisons & Policing
Audit and Risk
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
8 day(s) per annum
Length of term
3 years
Application deadline
11am on 8 March 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    15 February 2023

  2. Application deadline

    11am on 8 March 2023

  3. Sifting date

    19 April 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    26 May 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Civil Justice Council (CJC).

I expect you are already aware of the important work of the CJC, which is established under the Civil Procedure Act 1997 to have responsibility for overseeing and co-ordinating the modernisation of the civil justice system.

I am fortunate to chair the CJC at a critical juncture as the civil justice system changes to reflect our increasingly digitised lives.

Leading this inevitable change to the civil justice system presents a real opportunity to enhance access to justice and to improve efficiency and economic outcomes for all.

The CJC brings people together from across the diverse civil justice system. It has important work to do making sure that integration, data and effective analysis are at the heart of the changes we recommend.

I am pleased that you are considering contributing to our work. If you believe you have the experience and qualities we are seeking, especially if you can add a new perspective to the work of the CJC, then I hope you will consider applying to join us.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls

Chair of the Civil Justice Council

Role description

Members of the Civil Justice Council should:

·       Contribute to the work of the CJC by participating fully in quarterly meetings.

·       Ensure that your own expertise contributes to the collegiate voice of the Council.

·       Participate in and monitor the progress of the work being undertaken by the Council out of committee.

·       Consider and contribute to the Council’s responses to proposals for reform and consultations relevant to civil justice.

·       Participate in time-limited working parties, appropriate to your expertise.

·       Act as ambassador for the Council where appropriate.

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is currently seeking to recruit six members:

·       A legal executive member

·       An advice sector member

·       A lay member

·       An alternative dispute resolution member

·       A digital technologies and information technology member

·       A solicitor member 

Organisation description

The CJC was established under the Civil Procedure Act 1997 as an advisory non-departmental public body. It is responsible for keeping the civil justice system under review, conducting research and advising Government, the judiciary, and others on change and procedural reform, and considering how to make the system more accessible, fair and efficient.

Members of the Council have collective responsibility for the operation of this body by:

·       Engaging fully in collective consideration of the work of the Council. This includes statutory responsibilities such as fee consultations, taking into account the full range of relevant factors, including any guidance issued by the Lord Chancellor;

·       Ensure that its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act (including prompt responses to public requests for information) are discharged;

·       Respond appropriately to complaints, if necessary, with reference to the MoJ;

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

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Essential criteria for all roles:

  •  A broad understanding of the civil justice system.
  •  Ability to adopt a collaborative approach in contributing, at a strategic level, to complex issues.
  • Ability to represent a sector or interest within the civil justice system and to speak with authority either as an expert and experienced practitioner.
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills in a committee setting.
  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to the improvement of the civil justice system.

Candidates must also be able to demonstrate the essential criteria relevant to the particular role:

Legal Executive

  •  A practising legal executive with significant experience of civil justice;
  • A predominantly civil practice.
  •  Ability to command the respect of other legal executives

Advice sector

  • A member of an advice providing organisation, or an active involvement in the provision of that advice.
  • An understanding of the issues faced by lay users of the civil justice system, especially litigants in person.

Lay member

  • A member of an organisation that supports lay people by encouraging engagement with and an understanding of the civil justice system, or an active involvement in that field.
  • An understanding of issues faced by lay users of the civil justice system including litigants in person.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Member

  • An ADR practitioner with a practice predominantly in civil disputes.
  •  Experience of different types of ADR is desirable.

Digital technologies and information technology member

  • Ability to analyse and critique the commissioning, design and development of information and technology solutions.
  • Experience in developing joined up design and long-term plans to achieve digital transformation.
  • An understanding of the effect of technology in an established system


  • A practising solicitor with significant experience of civil justice.
  • A predominantly civil practice.
  • Ability to command the respect of other solicitors.

Desirable criteria

Desirable criteria

  •  A practice or relevant experience providing an additional perspective to the CJC.

Eg. a ‘claimant’ solicitor, a public law specialist, or a practice focused on digital technology.

Application and selection process

How to apply

A clear indication of which of the six roles you are applying for. (If you wish to apply for more than one of the six roles please specify this and each of the roles clearly)

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

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

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 will be:

·       Sam Allan, Private Secretary to the Master of the Rolls, and Secretary to the Civil Justice Council (Panel Chair);

·       A CJC representative - drawn from a pool comprising: Diane Astin; Lord Justice Birss; Dr Natalie Byrom; Nicola Critchley; Elisabeth Davies; Prof. Andrew Higgins; Ian Karet; Andrew Parker; Mr Justice Simon Picken; Kate Pasfield; Matthew Smerdon; Dr John Sorabji; Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith; James Walker; and Rhodri Williams KC.

·       Independent Panel Members – drawn from a pool comprising: Cindy Butts, Michael d'Arcy and others TBC.

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

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 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

Reasonable standard travel expenses will be payable.

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 public appointments team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at  They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 20 working days.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

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

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

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 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 unless you specifically request us not to.

Should you wish your data to be removed from our records, please contact

Contact details

If you have any questions about any aspects of this post, you are welcome to contact Kathy Malvo on 07849 854567 (quote PAT 160076 in any correspondence) or by e-mail to;