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Registrar of Criminal Appeals and Master of the Crown Office
The JAC has been asked to identify one candidate to recommend for the post of Registrar of Criminal Appeals and Master of the Crown Office. This selection exercise is expected to launch on 21 March.
Who can apply
You are eligible to apply for this post if you are a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales with at least 7 years post qualification legal experience.
The Lord Chancellor also expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant experience sitting as a judge in a salaried capacity, or in a fee-paid capacity having completed 30 sitting days at the point of application. 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.
Additionally, the Lord Chancellor requires candidates to have experience of criminal law and procedure in the Crown Court and/or the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division.
Candidates should be able to offer a reasonable length of service, usually of 5 years, before the statutory retirement age of 70.
The Commission encourages diversity and welcomes applications from groups currently under represented in the judiciary. The principles of fair and open competition will apply and recommendation for appointment will be made solely on merit.
About the role
The Court of Appeal is the highest court within the Senior Courts of England and Wales, and deals only with appeals from other courts or tribunals. It is divided into two Divisions, criminal and civil, and is based at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The Court of Appeal Criminal Division hears appeals from the Crown Court against convictions, sentences and confiscation orders. These can range from basic appeals to appeals of national importance or interest.
It also hears appeals from decisions made by military courts and when doing so is known as the ‘Court Martial Appeal Court’.
As Registrar of Criminal Appeals the post holder has responsibility for ensuring that applications and appeals received by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division are placed before the court in good time and in a justiciable condition.
In exercising these powers the Registrar will provide judicial leadership to the legal and administrative staff of the Criminal Appeal Office; exercise their duty of active case management by giving directions for the progression of cases; hold directions hearings in open court; determine applications for extensions of time or to abridge time; identify, on a termly basis, which judges of the Court of Appeal are to sit in the Criminal Division; and liaise with, and seeks the direction of the Lord Chief Justice, the Vice President and other senior judges of the court.
As Registrar of the Court Martial Appeal Court the post holder will exercise similar functions in relation to that court.
As Queen’s Coroner and Attorney and Master of the Crown Office the post holder will, along with certain Masters of the Queen’s Bench Division, undertake such interlocutory work of the Administrative Court as may be assigned to them by rule or practice or direction of the lead judge of that Court.
Preparing your application
Throughout the selection process, candidates will be assessed against a competency framework specifically tailored to the role of a Registrar of Criminal Appeals, Master of the Crown Office and Queen's Coroner & Attorney. The competencies are aligned to the Judicial Skills and Abilities framework used by the judiciary and Judicial College, and lists the ways in which a person demonstrates the required skills and abilities when working effectively in post.