804/805: Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, HESC (Mental Health) and of the Mental Health Review Tribunal of Wales

Number of vacancies: 10 HESC, 10 MHRT

Launch date: noon on 18 July 2013
Closing date: noon on 15 August 2013

00804 Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal; Health, Education and Social Care Chamber, Mental Health (HESC)
Number of vacancies: 10
Fees: £472 per day
Locations: across England

00805 Fee-paid Judge of the Mental Health Tribunal for Wales (MHRT Wales)
Number of vacancies: 10
Fees: £464 per day
Location: across Wales

This is the first time the Judicial Appointments Commission has been asked to recommend candidates for appointment to these posts.

The tribunal
The tribunal is responsible for deciding on the necessity for the continued compulsory detention of mentally disordered patients in hospital or the continuation of a conditional discharge, guardianship, or a community treatment order.

The powers of the tribunal are significant, with a responsibility to balance the liberty of the subject with potentially serious risk to the patient, their families and the public.

To find out more about the tribunal, visit http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/mental-health

The role
The appointed judges will chair appeals in a three-person tribunal sitting together with a medical member and a specialist lay member.

The main activities include: considering the evidence before the hearing; advising other members of the tribunal on matters of law and meeting them in advance of the hearing to discuss and agree preliminary matters; presiding over hearings which must avoid unnecessary formality, length and delay; presiding over the decision making to ensure the tribunal members together deliberate on all relevant matters; and drafting in clear and straightforward language the reasons for the decision.

The person
HESC: Under statute you are eligible to apply if you are a solicitor, barrister, advocate or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives with five years' post qualification experience or, in the Lord Chancellor's opinion have gained experience in law which makes you as suitable for appointment as if you satisfy these criteria.

MHRT Wales: The Lord Chancellor will normally only consider solicitors or barristers with five years' post qualification experience for appointment to this role. In order to meet the statutory qualifications for appointment, a solicitor (or a salaried judicial office holder who was formerly a solicitor) must appear on the Roll.

Key terms and conditions:
Appointment as a fee-paid judicial office holder is for an initial period of five years.   
The appointment may be renewed for successive five-year periods subject to an upper age limit of 70 years.
Fee-paid First-tier Judges will normally be expected to offer a minimum of 30 days per year for Tribunal business. The minimum sitting requirement for MHRT Wales is 15 days per year. There is normally the opportunity to sit more frequently.

When the selection exercise is open for applications, to the right of this page, there will be a job description and the terms and conditions of employment. You will also find an application form and an information pack describing the selection process, with dates of the shortlisting and selection days, and advice on how to prepare your application.

Not quite ready to apply?
Those who are eligible to apply, but do not intend to do so this time, can gain experience for future exercises, by volunteering to take part in a mock qualifying test. These help the JAC fine-tune the content of the selection process. If you are interested in taking part in this dry-run, email 00804/5@jac.gsi.gov.uk. The team is planning to run mock tests on 23 July 2013. Please note that by participating you will disqualify yourself from applying for this selection exercise this time around. You will, of course, be free to apply for other positions running concurrently or afterwards.

Please be aware that the scheduled advertisement date for this selection exercise is provisional and subject to change. Please check back regularly to see if the selection exercise remains in the programme or if the launch date or number of vacancies has changed.

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