The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division is primarily to determine appeals from the Crown Court and to provide guidance on criminal legislation, case law and procedure. For the majority of defendants it is the final court of appeal. The Criminal Appeal Office provides administrative and legal support to the CACD. The Criminal Appeal Office also provides administrative and legal support to the Court Martial Appeals Court.
A Criminal Appeal Office lawyer is responsible for all aspects of case management and the drafting of summaries for the full court in conviction cases, working closely in conjunction with the Registrar of Criminal Appeals and the senior judiciary. In addition, a Criminal Appeal Office lawyer will provide legal advice on sentence appeals and assume responsibility for the case management of the complex sentence cases.
Duties and responsibilities include:
- Case management of all conviction cases under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 and various other applications to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division under other statutes to ensure that cases are actively managed through the appeal process efficiently and justly. The Registrar is responsible for all the case management on behalf of the CACD and has delegated the majority of powers to the Criminal Appeal Office lawyers. It is the role of the Criminal Appeal Office lawyer to ensure that all applications are effective, that the issues on appeal are properly identified and to give directions to ensure that all issues are addressed and all necessary material is before the court.
- Preparation of a case summary of the facts and legal issues in every conviction case, which is to be listed before the full court (i.e. appeals, renewed applications and directions hearings). The summary is used by the court in preparing their judgment (which is usually ex tempore) and will contain advice to the judiciary regarding the court’s powers in relation to the case, including advice on ancillary matters such as reporting restrictions.
- Consideration of sentence cases to identify unlawful sentences and invalid committals and advise whether such cases should be referred to the full court or sent to the single judge to consider leave. Preparation of written advice as to unlawfulness of the sentence and how the sentence may be re-ordered. Criminal Appeal Office lawyers also have case management responsibilities for the most complex sentence cases.
- Legal research as required and providing advice to the Registrar, senior judiciary and court users, including appellants and legal professionals.
- Advising new High Court judges on CACD practice and procedure in relation to applications for leave to appeal.
- Identifying novel legal issues that any require the CACD to give guidance to the lower courts and drawing such issues to the attention of the Registrar.
- Undertaking projects (and leading a small project team if necessary) such as the co-ordination of special courts; preparation and presentation of CPD accredited training events; drafting responses to consultation papers.
- Each week one lawyer reviews the cases to be listed the following week to identify cases raising similar legal issues so they may be drawn to the attention of the relevant court to avoid inconsistent judgments.
- Maintaining specialist skills by keeping up to date with relevant law and Criminal Appeal Office practice and procedure; fulfilling the relevant CPD requirements.
Skills & Qualifications
Fully qualified barrister or solicitor (having completed pupilage or training contract) with at least three years’ post- qualification experience of criminal law. A law degree at 2:1 level ( or equivalent).
The post requires:
- A thorough knowledge of criminal law and procedure with the ability quickly to acquire expertise in the practice and procedure of the CACD. A knowledge of the Criminal Appeal Acts, appropriate Criminal Procedure Rules and Criminal Practice Directions.
- The ability to articulate issues effectively and get to the heart of complex issues, identifying advantages and disadvantages and suggesting viable solutions where appropriate
- The ability to carry out efficient and proportionate research, produce sound analysis and apply sound legal judgment and be able to advise clearly, persuasively and constructively, both orally and in writing. Excellent written skills are essential.
- The ability to work under pressure, possibly in the face of competing demands and short deadlines.
- As part of the recruitment exercise, those candidates who are called for interview will be asked to answer a written question to test their powers of analysis.
You will be required to provide evidence of the following Competencies:
Making Effective Decisions
- Analyse and evaluate pros and cons and identify risks in order to make decisions that take account of the wider context, including diversity and sustainability.
- Identify the main issues in complex problems, clarify understanding or stakeholder expectations, to seek best option.
- Make difficult decisions by pragmatically weighing the complexities involved against the need to act.
Delivering at Pace
- Act as a role model in supporting and encouraging teams to build confidence in their ability to deliver outcomes.
- Maintain effective performance in difficult and challenging circumstances, encouraging other to do the same.
- Review, challenge and adjust performance levels to ensure quality outcomes are delivered on time, rewarding success.
Managing a Quality Service
- Exemplify positive customer service behaviours and promote a culture focused on ensuring customer needs are met.
- Ensure the service offer thoroughly considers customers’ needs and a broad range of available methods to meet this, including new technology where relevant.
- Ensure adherence to legal and regulatory requirements in service delivery and build diversity and equality considerations into plans.
- Has Reliable Legal Judgement and Appreciates Legal Risk
- Can identify and explain legal options, giving a steer as appropriate.
- Produces Sound Analysis, Using Secure Legal Research
- Interprets statutes, case law and other sources of law.
- Produces, accurate, timely and fit for purpose analysis, instructions and advice
- Tailors analysis and advice as appropriate for different audiences.
- Has an In-Depth Understanding of the Legal Issues that are Specific to their Post
- Can consistently identify the key legal issues.
Salary, Working Arrangements & Further Information
The starting salary for this post is £53,059 per annum.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
Generous allowances for paid holiday starting at 23 days per year, and rising as your service increases. There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 2.5 privilege days. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
Access to flexible benefits such as salary sacrifice arrangements for childcare vouchers, and voluntary benefits such as retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.
The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Civil Service Code
The Civil Service Code, first published in 1996, sets out the core Civil Service values and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants in upholding these values.
Integrity – putting the obligations of public service above personal interests.
Honesty – being truthful and open.
Objectivity – basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence.
Impartiality – acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties equally well.
To review the Civil Service Code visit: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/values.
Closing Date: 10th March 2014 at 23:59 hrs
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