Commissioner takes the lead on a number of jurisdiction-specific projects and
this accounts for a substantial proportion of their time.
present vacancy is for a Commissioner for public law and the law in Wales.
Public law is understood broadly to cover law relating to the relationship
between the individual and the state apart from purely criminal law. It can
cover a wide range of issues spanning constitutional law, administrative law,
environmental law, the law relating to the safety and security of vulnerable
persons, the use of AI in decision making, etc.
post-holder’s responsibility for the law of Wales reflects the Commission’s
role in relation to Welsh devolved law.
The scope of devolution to Wales has meant that the Welsh law projects
so far conducted have been in the public law field, and this is likely to
continue to be the case. In the event of the Commission undertaking a project
falling within the remit of another Commissioner it is envisaged that that
Commissioner would supervise the project, with the Commissioner for public law
and Wales playing a supporting and facilitating role.
recently concluded include:
- Automated Vehicles
- Devolved Tribunals in Wales
- Simplification of the Immigration Rules
- Employment Law Hearing Structures
- Regulating Coal Tip Safety in Wales
- Planning Law in Wales
team’s current work comprises:
- Autonomy in Aviation
- Compulsory Purchase
- Supporting implementation of the Planning Law
in Wales Report
implementation of the Automated Vehicles Report and Remote Driving Advice
- Disabled chidrens social
Commissioner’s role is participative and proactive. Ultimately, it is the
responsibility of the Commissioners collectively to take final decisions in
relation to the policy recommendations put forward to the Peer Review process.
They also take responsibility for ensuring that work submitted is of high
quality and clearly expressed. All of this requires hands-on involvement at
every stage of a project. Commissioners are not expected to be an expert in all
aspects of every project; it is necessary to be flexible from project to project
depending on the Commissioner’s background and expertise and that of the
project’s lead lawyer. However, although not exhaustive, the Commissioner’s
legal knowledge should always be sufficient to:
- Set the structure and
parameters of the project, including involvement in drafting Terms of
- Develop the main policy
- Oversee the approach to
- Lead stakeholder
planning and the building of relationships.
- Test concepts and
- Write and supervise
parts of the Consultation Paper, Report or other publications, where
Commissioner’s role in drafting will differ from project to project, according
to the Commissioner’s preferences and capacity, and the extent and expertise of
the other lawyer resources available to the project team. Commissioners need to
be able to evaluate and comment constructively on drafts and to take on
drafting and revision of drafts where required.
is for the Team Head (a civil servant) to ensure that there are systems in
place to ensure successful and timely delivery of the project, a Commissioner’s
responsibility for the ultimate output means that it is necessary for the
Commissioner to engage with the Team Head to project plan and allocate team
resources. Commissioners should ensure that they personally adhere to agreed
timescales to support project delivery.
working with the Chair, take a lead in trying to attract new projects for the
Commission. This involves building networks with Ministers, Government
Departments and external stakeholders. Commissioners devote time to identifying
potential problem areas of the law within their portfolio, exploring ways to
heighten awareness of the issues therefore building a case for reform. They
should familiarise themselves with Government, stakeholder and Parliamentary
views in relation to potential new projects.
lead efforts to bring about implementation of the Commission’s reports,
including meeting with Ministers or persuading key stakeholders to support
recommendations and make the case for change. Where legislation is involved,
Commissioners ensure that they are aware of relevant Parliamentary matters,
including use of the Special Procedure for uncontroversial Law Commission
Bills, and are confident in liaising with in-house Parliamentary Counsel about
possible mechanisms for taking forward legislation.
also have responsibility for the portfolio of completed projects which they
inherit from their predecessors, including efforts to bring about implementation
of that work.
spend a considerable proportion of their time building external relationships
relevant to their portfolio; they are the outward ‘face’ of their projects.
This involves leading key meetings, attending Ministerial meetings, and
speaking at events and with the press. They engage directly with senior
stakeholders with influence over their projects. They will be open to the use
of social media.
also act as a ‘salesperson’ for the Commission more generally, delivering
speeches or attending relevant external events to create a public profile for
the Commission across their areas of law and the wider work of the
organisation. Commissioners build relationships with Parliament, especially
relevant All Party Parliamentary Groups or interested Members. Commissioners
establish strong links with key opinion-forming groups, with academia and the
judiciary. They should regularly attend receptions and conferences.
relationship between the Commission and Wales is of particular importance. The
Commissioner will be expected to be pro-active in developing working relations
with the Government of Wales and the Senedd.
They will also work closely with the Commission’s Wales Advisory Group.
The Commissioner is not required be familiar with Welsh devolved law as a
whole, but will need to develop a general knowledge of the principles of
devolved legislative competence.
to have maximum impact, Commissioners must be able to adapt tone and style
depending on the audience, explaining difficult legal concepts in plain
English. They should always have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter to
represent the Commission authoritatively. Commissioners should be comfortable
talking to the media (with appropriate training where necessary).
play an active part in Peer Review, the process by which all Law Commission
consultation papers and reports are agreed and published. The focus is on
ensuring that the legal policies under consideration are robust, well-reasoned,
supported by evidence and in keeping with the values of the Commission.
Commissioners respond to papers according to the agreed timetables. The
relevant Commissioner is accountable for their team’s work during peer review
discussions, though in many cases the lead team lawyer will also play a key
also make a full contribution to meetings of the Board of the Law Commission,
ensuring they are familiar with Board papers. They should be comfortable
talking about project and programme management; staffing issues; and budgets.
They should be able to lead discussions about strategic issues affecting their
own team’s work confidently to the Board, making recommendations in a
non-partisan, non-defensive way. Commissioners are expected to take collective
decisions for the benefit of the Commission as a whole, putting aside the
interests of their team.
need to be comfortable using IT and willing to manage their own diaries.