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Circuit Judge 2018

Closing date:  5 April, 2018 - 13:00

Salary:  £134,841

Location:  Across England and Wales

 

The JAC has been asked to identify 94 candidates suitable for appointment as Circuit Judges. Vacancies are across all circuits in England and Wales; some are immediate and some are expected to arise in the near future. Although there are opportunities in all jurisdictions (civil, crime and family) not all jurisdictions are across all circuits. This is a good opportunity for those wanting to take on a challenging and rewarding role and to progress their judicial career.

About the role

Circuit Judges sit in the Crown and County Courts. It is the responsibility of the judge to exercise control over proceedings, both during the pre-trial stage and when presiding over the trial itself, ensuring the proceedings are conducted efficiently and fairly.

Judges sitting in the civil jurisdiction are expected to deal with the whole range of civil cases in the County Court including personal injury and clinical negligence claims; consumer credit and other cases involving personal debt; and housing and possession disputes often involving actions by mortgage lenders or landlords.

In the family jurisdiction, judges deal with a broad range of cases including those relating to financial relief, private children’s’ cases and public children’s cases. Family cases can involve high emotions which must be effectively managed by the judge.

Judges sitting in the crime jurisdiction are expected to deal with a broad range of criminal cases in the Crown Court. When presiding over a trial, a judge must balance the right of the defendant to a fair trial with the interests of the victims and witnesses. The judge must maintain order in the courtroom, and ensure the case is presented to the jury in a comprehensible fashion. The judge will also be required to pass sentence in the event of a guilty plea or conviction by the jury.

Circuit Judges are part of a team. Successful candidates will be expected to play a full part in the work of the team, assisting colleagues in dealing with the overall workload of the court and taking on ancillary roles as required.

Rajeev Shetty, who was appointed a Circuit Judge in 2014, explains what a day in the life of a Circuit Judge entails.

Who can apply?

This exercise is open to:

  • solicitors and barristers in England and Wales with at least 7 years post-qualification legal experience
  • Recorders
  • those who have held, as a full-time appointment for at least 3 years, one of the offices listed in Part 1A of Schedule 2 to the Courts Act 1971

The Lord Chancellor also expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant previous judicial experience or experience in an equivalent body. Only in exceptional cases and if the candidate in question has demonstrated the necessary skills in some other significant way should an exception be made.

The meaning of “directly relevant experience” is sitting as a judge in a salaried or fee-paid capacity or in a similar role in an equivalent body. ‘Equivalent bodies’ could include, but are not restricted to disciplinary tribunals, conduct hearings, arbitrators, Magistrates and Parole Board Members.

Additionally, whilst there is no upper or lower age limit for candidates apart from the statutory retirement age of 70, the age at which someone is appointed as a Circuit Judge must allow for a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years before retirement.

Farnwr Cylchdaith

Gofynnwyd i’r JAC adnabod 94 o ymgeiswyr sy’n addas i'w penodi fel Barnwyr Cylchdaith. Mae’r swyddi gwag ar draws yr holl cylchdeithiau yng Nghymru a Lloegr; mae rhai angen eu llenwi ar unwaith a disgwylir i rai eraill godi yn y dyfodol agos. Er bod yna gyfleoedd ar draws yr holl awdurdodaethau (sifil, trosedd, a theulu) nid oes swyddi gwag ar draws bob awdurdodaeth ym mhob cylchdaith. Mae’n gyfle da i’r rhai hynny sydd eisiau cyflawni rôl heriol sy’n rhoi llawer o foddhad a rhoi hwb i’w gyrfa farnwrol.

Gwybodaeth am y rôl

Mae Barnwyr Cylchdaith yn eistedd yn Llys y Goron a’r Llys Sirol. Cyfrifoldeb y barnwr yw rheoli’r achos, yn ystod y cyfnod cyn y treial ac wrth lywyddu dros y treial ei hun, gan sicrhau fod yr achos yn cael ei gynnal mewn ffordd effeithlon a theg.

Disgwylir i farnwyr sy’n eistedd yn yr awdurdodaeth sifil ddelio ag ystod eang o achosion sifil yn y Llys Sirol, gan gynnwys hawliadau anafiadau personol a hawliadau esgeuluster clinigol; credyd defnyddwyr ac achosion eraill sy’n ymwneud â dyledion personol; ac anghydfodau tai a meddiannu, sy'n aml iawn yn ymwneud â gweithredoedd gan fenthycwyr morgais neu landlordiaid.

Yn yr awdurdodaeth teulu, mae barnwyr yn delio ag ystod eang o achosion, gan gynnwys y rhai hynny'n sy'n ymwneud â chymorth ariannol, ac achosion preifat a chyhoeddus sy'n ymwneud â phlant. Gall achosion teulu fod yn emosiynol iawn, a bydd rhaid i'r barnwr eu rheoli’n effeithiol.

Disgwylir i farnwyr sy’n eistedd yn yr awdurdodaeth trosedd ddelio ag ystod eang o achosion troseddol yn Llys y Goron. Wrth lywyddu dros unrhyw dreial, rhaid i farnwr daro cydbwysedd rhwng hawl y diffynnydd i gael treial teg a buddion y dioddefwyr a’r tystion. Rhaid i’r barnwr gynnal trefn yn yr ystafell llys, a sicrhau bod yr achos yn cael ei gyflwyno i’r rheithgor mewn ffordd ddealladwy. Hefyd, gofynnir i’r barnwr roi dedfryd os bydd diffynnydd yn pledio’n euog neu fod rheithgor yn ei ddyfarnu’n euog.

Mae Barnwyr Cylchdaith yn rhan o dîm. Disgwylir i ymgeiswyr llwyddiannus chwarae rhan weithredol yng ngwaith y tîm, gan gynorthwyo cydweithwyr i ddelio â baich gwaith cyffredinol y llys a chyflawni rolau ategol yn ôl yr angen.

Mae Rajeev Shetty, a benodwyd yn Farnwr Cylchdaith yn 2014, yn egluro beth yw diwrnod arferol i Farnwr Cylchdaith.

Pwy all wneud cais?

Mae’r ymarfer hwn yn agored i:

  • gyfreithwyr a bargyfreithwyr yng Nghymru a Lloegr sydd ag o leiaf 7 blynedd o brofiad cyfreithiol ar ôl cymhwyso
  • Cofiaduron
  • y rhai hynny sydd wedi dal swydd llawn amser am o leiaf 3 blynedd yn un o’r swyddi a restrir yn Rhan 1A Atodlen 2 Deddf Llysoedd 1971

Mae’r Arglwydd Ganghellor hefyd yn disgwyl bod gan y rhai hynny sy’n ymgeisio am swyddi cyflogedig ddigon o brofiad barnwrol blaenorol sy’n uniongyrchol berthnasol neu brofiad mewn sefydliad cyfwerth. Bydd eithriad ond yn cael ei ganiatáu mewn amgylchiadau eithriadol ac os bydd yr ymgeisydd dan sylw wedi dangos y sgiliau angenrheidiol mewn ffordd arwyddocaol arall.

Ystyr “profiad sy’n uniongyrchol berthnasol” yw eistedd fel barnwr cyflogedig neu farnwr sy'n derbyn ffi neu mewn rôl debyg mewn sefydliad cyfwerth. Gall 'sefydliadau cyfwerth’ gynnwys, ond nid ydynt wedi’u cyfyngu i, tribiwnlysoedd disgyblu, gwrandawiadau ymddygiad, cyflafareddwyr, Ynadon ac Aelodau o Fwrdd Parôl.

Hefyd, er nad oes uchafswm nac isafswm oedran ar gyfer ymgeiswyr, ar wahân i’r oedran ymddeol statudol, sef 70, rhaid i oedran person a benodir yn Farnwr Cylchdaith ganiatáu cyfnod rhesymol o wasanaeth cyn ymddeol, sef tua phum mlynedd fel arfer.