00945: Salaried Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Health Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health)

Number of vacancies: One
Salary: £104,990
Location: Across the north of England*
Closing date: noon 21 October 2014

*Salaried judges in the mental health jurisdiction do not have a single principal sitting venue. However, the candidate must be willing and able to sit across the north of England, particularly in the counties of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and Tyne & Wear.

It is expected that the successful candidate will sit at hospital venues within reasonable travelling distance of their home but are expected to spend up to three days per fortnight in the principal venue (Civil Justice Centre, Manchester).

The role
The First-tier Tribunal HESC (Mental Health) is responsible for deciding whether mentally disordered patients should continue to be detained in hospital and if conditional discharges need to remain in place. This is sensitive work, which not only directly affects the lives of individuals, but can also have significant public safety implications. These tribunals normally sit in private and take place in the hospital or community unit where the patient is detained.

As a salaried judge you will case manage all cases allocated to you and participate in a wide range of other judicial activities. These will include development and leadership of the fee-paid judges’ training programme, managing appraisals and mentoring schemes and engaging with partners from other tribunals and organisations.

The main activities of the role include:

  • To travel to and preside over hearings before the tribunal as rostered, and to prepare the tribunal’s written decision within the relevant time limits.
  • To attend at the tribunal office as rostered, and periodically (as rostered) at the tribunal’s Administrative Support Centre in Leicester to act as Duty Judge.
  • To be available in the tribunal office, online or by telephone, on every working day, to provide urgent and non-urgent case management of all cases as allocated by the Chamber President, including the speedy determination of pre-hearing applications and issues, and the prompt identification and/or resolution of practical issues before the hearing, in order to ensure that those cases on which s/he is not sitting as judge are handed over to the appointed panel in a timely and well prepared form.
  • To investigate complaints, grievances and judicial performance issues if asked to do so by the Chamber President or Deputy Chamber President, and to make recommendations for disposal of such matters.
  • To attend meetings with the senior judiciary and others, and to deputise for the Chamber President or Deputy Chamber President as required.

The person
This post is open to solicitors and barristers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, advocates or solicitors in Scotland, and Chartered Legal Executives, with five years post qualification experience (PQE).

The Lord Chancellor expects that candidates for salaried posts will have sufficient directly relevant previous judicial experience.  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” for this role is sitting as a judge in the Mental Health jurisdiction, for fee-paid judges this should be for a period of at least two years or 30 sitting days since appointment.

Full details including a job description, information pack and terms and conditions are now on JAC website.