You cannot apply for this role

The application deadline has passed or the role has been closed for applications.

Role details

Independent Reviewer of State Threats Legislation

Application deadline 2 October 2023


Independent Reviewer of States Threats Legislation
Sponsor department
Home Office
Professional, Scientific and Technical
Media, Judicial, Regulation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
2 day(s) per week
£1200 per day
Length of term
Fixed Term until May 2025
Application deadline
10:59pm on 2 October 2023

Share this page

The following links open in a new tab

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    8 September 2023

  2. Application deadline

    10:59pm on 2 October 2023

  3. Sifting date

    9 October 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    14 November 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role

Introduction from the Secretary of State

A message from the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Suella Braverman MP
Dear Applicant,
The threat of hostile activity against the UK’s interests from foreign powers is growing. These threats are diverse, sophisticated, and ever evolving. As stated by MI5 Director, General Ken McCallum, in November 2022, ‘We are facing adversaries who have massive scale and are not squeamish about the tactics they deploy. The West is in a contest in which our security, values and democratic institutions are at stake’.  We should not underestimate the lengths hostile actors will go to, and the resources they will invest to cause us harm. They seek to target our national infrastructure and interfere in our political system and as we saw in the tragic events in Salisbury in 2018, they pose a physical threat through assassinations and poisoning. Their actions can also be small and incremental, but targeted and assertive with the capacity to undermine the safety and interest of our United Kingdom over time.
It is the Governments upmost priority to protect the UK’s national security, the safety of the British public and the UK’s vital interests from the hostile activities of foreign states. State threats legislation must therefore be as robust as possible to deal with individuals who seek to do us harm. However, we must ensure that the legislation and the way it is used in practice is not only as effective as possible, but also that it is fair and proportionate. 
As an Independent Reviewer, you would report directly to me, and would have the opportunity to shape the role further to respond to the changing threat we face from hostile actors.
This role will demand a highly talented individual of unquestionable integrity and credibility, who can demonstrate his or her ability to exercise sound judgment to balance complex information and competing and sensitive interests.
I wish you well in your application.
Home Secretary

Role description

The Home Secretary is required to appoint the IRSTL under section 64 of the National Security Bill. The IRSTL’s role will be very similar to that of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (IRTL). The IRSTL will assess the fairness, effectiveness and proportionality of UK state threats legislation, and report their findings and recommendations. These reports will be laid before Parliament, to inform public and political debate. They may also be called upon to comment on key state threats issues in the media.  
Role Description
Job Title: Independent Reviewer of State Threats Legislation (IRSTL)
Remuneration: £1200 per day (plus VAT and reasonable expenses). The time commitment is expected to be around 100 days per annum,                                            which  equates to two days per week, but this could vary depending on the Independent Reviewer’s programme of work and will                                  be at the discretion of the role holder.
Appointment:          Fixed term until May 2025 in order to align the role with the IRTL appointment cycle.
Location:          Flexible within the United Kingdom. However, the successful candidate will need to work from Home Office Headquarters in                                         Central London on occasion, in order to review sensitive material in a secure environment and be prepared to travel throughout                                   Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Reporting to: Home Secretary
The threat of hostile activity against the UK’s interests from foreign states is growing. States are becoming increasingly assertive in how they advance their own objectives and undermine the safety and interests of the UK, operating covertly in an attempt to interfere with the UK’s national security, economy, and democracy. State threats legislation creates offences and powers which provide a vital deterrent to those who wish to cause the UK harm. However, the legislation must carefully balance the nation’s security and the need to protect the public, with maintaining the rights and freedoms that form the basis of our democratic society. 
The Government is therefore seeking an experienced individual to provide independent oversight and scrutiny of UK state threats legislation as the Independent Reviewer of State Threats Legislation. The Independent Reviewer is appointed by the Home Secretary, under section 64 of the National Security Act 2023, to review the operation of key UK State Threats statutes to assess their fairness, effectiveness and proportionality. The Independent Reviewer provides an important safeguard, informing the Parliamentary and public debate on state threats law and civil liberties through written reports, evidence, media and an online presence. 
The Independent Reviewer will have the opportunity to be supported by specialist assistants to help discharge the Reviewer’s statutory responsibilities. 
Key Responsibilities:
The Independent Reviewer’s main responsibilities are to:
Carry out an annual review, and report to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on the operation of statutes  falling within the                      Independent Reviewer’s remit, which are:  
  • Part 1, except section 30, of the National Security Act 2023.
  • Part 2 of the National Security Act 2023.
  • Schedule 3 to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, except the functions of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner under Part 1 of that Schedule.
  • Carry out such further discretionary reviews (and provide reports to the Home Secretary on those reviews) as the Independent                  Reviewer considers necessary on the operation of statutes falling within the Independent Reviewer’s remit.
Provide the Home Secretary with a proposed annual work programme, by 31 January each year, setting out the reviews to be conducted within          that calendar year.
In addition, state threats legislation may attract significant attention and it is likely that the Independent Reviewer may be called upon to take              part in public debates, to give evidence to Parliamentary Committees and international bodies, and to comment to domestic and  overseas                  media on high-profile state threats issues. 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Person Specification
It is essential in your supporting statement that you provide evidence and proven examples against each of the selection criteria in Part One only of the person specification, in so far as you are able. These responses will be further developed and explored with those candidates invited for interview, together with the other criteria listed in Part Two.
Part One – Essential Criteria
Ability to demonstrate outstanding personal qualities, in particular integrity and independence, with a strong and  personal commitment to the              highest standards of public life.
A good understanding and experience of dealing with state threats and related national security policy issues.
Scrupulous fairness in assessing complex information and competing interests, sound judgment and a willingness to accept scrutiny                            and challenge. 
A first-class communicator with the authority and interpersonal skills to secure and retain the confidence of a wide range of                                         challenging audiences including parliamentarians, law enforcement, judicial and legal professionals, NGOs and the media. 
Ability to lead a small team effectively and efficiently in the conduct of reviews and production of detailed reports.

Desirable criteria

A balanced appreciation of the importance of civil liberties and their interaction with laws designed to protect the public. 
Expertise in analysing the law and its operation, coupled with a broader understanding of the effects of law on society and  the concerns of                  different groups within society.
Senior barrister, solicitor, judge or legal academic. 
Experience of media and social media. 
Part Two – Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 
The ability to command respect quickly and to build mutually supportive relationships and networks. 
A strong intellect, analytical and written skills. 
Resilient in challenging circumstances and able to work under pressure, remaining calm but decisive. 
Comfortable operating in a political environment, whilst also being tenacious and robust. 
The ability to work on sensitive issues requiring the utmost discretion.
As a holder of a public office the IRSTL is expected to follow the Seven Principles of Public Life, as set out by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life, at Annex A.
Due diligence: Please note that as part of the recruitment process, due diligence, including social media checks will be undertaken on the short-listed candidates.

Application and selection process

How to apply

If apply online is enabled

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

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)

TThe AAP will be independently chaired. Their role will be to ensure that the appointment is made in accordance with the Governance Code. The selection panel will include the Director of State Threats and Cyber, Homeland Security Group (Home Office), Legal Director, Secret Intelligence Service, and a Rt Hon Lord Justice as the independent panel member. 
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.

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 have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Developed Vetting (DV) level. DV is the most comprehensive form of security vetting. Carrying out the relevant checks can take a number of months. It includes:

·        a basic check of identity documents and employment/education referees;

·        a check against departmental/company records;

·        the completion of a security questionnaire and a specific, more detailed DV supplementary questionnaire;

·        a check against the criminal and security records of the UK and, if appropriate, of overseas countries;

·        a credit reference check;

·        the completion of a financial questionnaire;

·        a detailed interview conducted by an investigating officer; and

·        further enquiries, including the checking of references, in writing, by telephone or by interview, from both personal friends and employers as appropriate.

. 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. 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 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


·         The role is remunerated at £1200 per day (plus VAT and reasonable expenses).

·         The remuneration is taxable through payroll, but the appointment is not pensionable.

·         The post holder can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred during the course of their duties at rates set centrally.

·         Applicants should note that the successful candidate cannot be remunerated for this role if they are being paid for an existing full-time role from the public purse.

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 Home Office 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 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
<Department to add details of own privacy notice> 

Contact details

If you have any queries about any aspect of this role, or merely wish to have an informal discussion, then please contact Rob Frederick at
If you have any queries about the recruitment process for this role, please contact the Public Appointments Team at:
If helpful to you, there is guidance available on writing a supporting statement on the public appointments webpages: