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Fee-paid Legal Members of the Adjudication Panel for Wales
Number of vacancies: two
Fee: £410 a day
The JAC has been asked to identify two candidates to recommend for the post of Fee-paid Legal Chairperson of the Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW).
The APW is an independent tribunal. Its function is to determine alleged breaches by elected and co-opted members of Welsh county, county borough and community councils and fire and national park authorities, against their authority’s statutory code of conduct.
Although the tribunal is funded by the Welsh Government, the tribunal, its members and decisions are independent of central and local government.
Who can apply
This exercise is open to solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with at least 5 years post qualification legal experience; advocates and solicitors in Scotland of at least 5 years standing; and barristers and solicitors in Northern Ireland of at least 5 years standing.
Candidates must also have knowledge, or be able to demonstrate the ability to quickly acquire knowledge, of the law providing for statutory standards of conduct in local authorities in Wales.
In addition, candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of at least 4 years, before retirement.
About the tribunal
The Code of Conduct for an authority provides its members with a set of standards expected of them in public life. The Code of Conduct covers various requirements as to how members should conduct themselves and includes requirements in relation to equality, personal and prejudicial interests, confidential information, their authority’s resources and the need to avoid bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
The APW has two statutory functions in relation to breaches of the Code of Conduct:
- to form case or interim case tribunals to consider references from the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, following the investigation of allegations that a member has failed to comply with their authority’s Code of Conduct
- to consider appeals from members against the decisions of local authority standards committees that they have breached the Code of Conduct
The APW operates in accordance with its procedural regulations and other associated legislation. The regulations ensure that all cases heard by the APW are treated fairly, consistently, promptly and justly.
At an APW hearing the panel is composed of a legally qualified chairperson and two lay members. The chairperson is responsible for writing decisions, advising of adjournments and setting directions where necessary. They must ensure the correct legal process is followed and that the law is correctly applied in light of the evidence given.
APW hearings will normally be held in public and take place near to the authority area.
About the appointments
The tribunal covers the whole of Wales. Candidates must be able to travel independently throughout Wales and be willing to stay overnight when necessary. Reasonable costs for travel and subsistence will be paid for by the tribunal.
Although it is not possible to offer a guaranteed number of sitting days, candidates should be able to offer at least 10 days a year to tribunal business.
Preparing your application
Throughout the selection process candidates will be assessed against a competency framework specifically tailored to the role of a Fee-paid Legal Chairpersons of the Adjudication Panel for Wales. The framework lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.
As part of your application you will be required to provide, in no more than 250 words per competency, specific examples that demonstrate how your experiences make you suitable for the role. Further information on completing the self-assessment and choosing the best examples is on the JAC website. You are advised to start preparing your examples in advance, putting aside sufficient time to develop relevant examples that demonstrate your suitability for the post.
You can also create an online account before you apply. The JAC's online application system requires all candidates to create an account before applying for judicial office. Your account will include your personal, character and diversity profiles. This information is stored on the system so, if you apply for another position in the future, you only need to update your details making the application process quicker and easier.
Check the JAC website regularly for updates and sign up for alerts to receive email notifications concerning the progress of this exercise up to launch.