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Legal Services

Complex Casework Lawyer – Criminal Appeal Office (Court of Appeal Criminal Division) – 38140
£52,845 - £63,500
London

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Background

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is responsible for the administration of the criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides a fair, efficient and effective justice system delivered by an independent judiciary. HMCTS aims to ensure that all citizens receive timely access to justice according to their different needs, whether as victims or witnesses of crime, defendants accused of crime, consumers in debt, children at risk of harm, businesses involved in commercial disputes or as individuals asserting their employment rights or challenging the decisions of government bodies.

Consequently, there are high expectations of all staff regardless of the job they do, and high performance is expected from everybody. The organisation is continuously adopting new or better ways of working to ensure that it focuses on just that which is essential. HMCTS Senior Management Team expects all leaders to operate in a culture of openness and honesty, demonstrating a commitment to change through involvement and empowerment, and by delivering results.

Introduction

The RCJ legal operations group includes all the lawyers working in the offices which support the Court of Appeal (criminal and civil divisions) and the High Court. It also includes lawyers working in the Upper Tribunal (including EAT).

The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division (CACD) is primarily to determine appeals from the Crown Court and through those judgements 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 (CAO) provides administrative and legal support to the CACD and to the Court Martial Appeals Court.

Job Description

A Complex Casework Lawyer in the CAO is responsible for all aspects of case management and for drafting summaries for the full court in conviction cases, working closely with the Registrar of Criminal Appeals and the senior Judiciary. In addition, a Complex Casework Lawyer provides legal advice on sentence appeals and assumes responsibility for the case management of complex sentence cases.

Key responsibilities and duties:

  • Case management of all conviction cases under the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 and various other applications to the CACD under other statutes, in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Rules to ensure that cases are actively managed through the appeal process efficiently and justly. The Registrar is responsible for case management on behalf of the CACD and the lawyers are authorised by her to exercise many of her statutory functions. It is the role of the 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 so as to ensure efficient use of judicial resources.
  • 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 and costs.
  • Consideration of sentence cases to identify unlawful sentences and invalid committals and to advise the Registrar and judiciary as to how the sentence may be re-ordered or the invalid committal addressed. Complex Casework Lawyers also have case management responsibilities for the most complex sentence cases.
  • Legal research as required and providing appropriate advice on practice and procedure 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 which require that the CACD 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 of conjoined appeals, preparation and presentation of training events; drafting responses to consultation papers.
  • Maintaining specialist skills by keeping up to date with relevant law and CAO practice and procedure; fulfilling the relevant CPD requirements.

Other duties

Accountability

The post holder will report to the Senior Legal Managers

The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and to undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.

Location of Post

Located within the Royal Courts of Justice.

Recruitment Process

This vacancy is using Success Profiles.

Required Skills, Qualifications & Experience

  • Solicitor or barrister qualified to practise in England and Wales (i.e. having completed training contract or pupillage)
  • Good working knowledge of and post qualification experience in criminal law.

Candidates invited to interview will be required to undertake a situational legal skills judgement test. The following legal professional skills will be assessed:

  • Produces sound analysis using secure legal research
  • Maintains relevant and up to date legal knowledge and skills
  • Has reliable legal judgement and understands legal risk

You will be required to provide evidence of the following behaviours:

  • Managing a quality service
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating & influencing
  • Working together

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

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 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Networks

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.