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Legal and Policy Adviser to the Head of Criminal Justice, Judicial Office – 72032
£55,720 – £64,135


We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Legal and Policy Adviser to the Head of Criminal Justice

Judicial Office

Band: Grade 7

Post type: permanent

Working pattern: full time, part time, job-share

Level of security clearance required: CTC

This is an exciting high-profile role for a proactive lawyer to advise the senior judiciary with responsibilities in crime, including the Lord Chief Justice, President of the King’s Bench Division, Vice President Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and the Senior Presiding Judge.

Working directly with the senior Judiciary the postholder is expected to  gain the confidence of, and build relationships with, senior Judicial Office Holders and senior officials, and understanding the wider policy and constitutional context in which they are working. is crucial.

The Judicial Office was established in 2006 following the implementation of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which made the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) the Head of the Judiciary. The LCJ’s specific responsibilities include representing the views of the judiciary of England and Wales to Parliament, the Lord Chancellor and Ministers generally; maintaining arrangements for the welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary; and maintaining arrangements for the deployment of judges and the allocation of work within the courts. The role of the Judicial Office is to support the LCJ and senior judiciary in carrying out these responsibilities. For more information see

The post-holder be part of the Judicial Office legal team, who advise the Senior Judiciary on their constitutional responsibilities and are embedded within Judicial Private Offices. The Judicial Office lawyers come from a variety of backgrounds, and the legal team promotes an ethos of collaborative and supportive working to draw on each other’s experience. The successful applicant will be line-managed by the Judicial Office Head of Legal, but will work with a significant degree of autonomy and without direct supervision of their legal advice. 

Every effort is made to support flexible working.

The role:

The post-holder will be required to provide high quality legal, strategic and policy advice directly to the senior judiciary regarding their administrative responsibilities in criminal justice, working with colleagues across the Judicial Office to ensure that all the relevant issues are addressed. This will involve working with senior stakeholders in the Ministry of Justice, CPS, Police and other criminal justice agencies to ensure that the judiciary are appropriately advised on legal and policy developments in criminal justice.

Key activities:

  • To be proactive in identifying and advising upon emerging issues and proposals for the development of the criminal law and procedure; media and the criminal law; the judiciary’s relationship with Ministers and other government departments; and novel or complex points of law and policy.
  • To represent the views of the LCJ and other members of the senior judiciary with the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and other external stakeholders in relation to the development of criminal justice policy, recognising and defending constitutional boundaries, as appropriate.
  • To develop and maintain strong relationships across the criminal justice system to ensure that the judiciary are appraised of developments and operational issues affecting the criminal courts.
  • To provide advice and support to other members of the senior judiciary, both on specific projects (for example drafting judicial responses to consultations or reviews) and in response to ad hoc requests (in particular those emerging from trials).
  • To provide legal and policy advice by drafting clear and concise papers on criminal justice issues and presenting solutions to the judicial-led Criminal Justice Team
  • To provide advice to the press office on high-profile, contentious issues, identifying cross-cutting issues and preparing lines to take.
  • In particular, the post-holder will represent the LCJ at the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee (CrimPRC), acting as the main point of contact with the Secretariat, and will draft Criminal Practice Directions and accompanying papers, having identified new issues on which guidance is required.
  • The post-holder will also represent the LCJ at the Sentencing Council and ensure that he is aware of important issues and has an opportunity to contribute, maintaining strategic links across the system to ensure the work of the Sentencing Council is aligned with the development of Criminal Procedure Rules and other relevant bodies

Essential criteria:

The successful applicant must:

  • be qualified as a Solicitor or Barrister in England or Wales and hold a valid practising certificate or be able to obtain one
  • Be able to provide high quality legal advice (both written and oral) which fits into the wider policy and operational context
  • An ability to gain the confidence of, and build relationships with, senior members of the judiciary and senior officials across government

Desirable criteria:

  • Knowledge of criminal law and the criminal justice system
  • Knowledge of constitutional and administrative law


be qualified as a Solicitor or Barrister in England or Wales and hold a valid practising certificate or be able to obtain one.

Candidates will be assessed at sift and interview on the following technical skills and behaviours:

Technical – Legal professional skills: (500 word limit)

  • Reliable legal judgement and an appreciation of legal risk
  • Sound analysis, using secure legal research to produce timely and fit for purpose advice
  • An understanding of employment law (essential) and constitutional law (desirable)


Making effective decisions: (250 word limit)

  • Find the best option by identifying positives, negatives, risks and implications.
  • Present reasonable conclusions from a wide range of complex and sometimes incomplete evidence

Communicating and influencing: (250 word limit)

  • Deliver difficult messages with clarity and sensitivity, being persuasive when required.
  • Communicate with others in a clear, honest and enthusiastic way in order to build trust.
  • Explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand.

Delivering at pace (250 word limit)

  • Ensure everyone clearly understands and owns their roles, responsibilities and business priorities.
  • Ensure delivery of timely quality outcomes, through providing the right resources to do the job, reviewing and adjusting performance expectations and rewarding success.
  • Maintain own levels of performance in challenging circumstances and encourage others to do the same.

Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.


£55,720 - £64,135

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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 moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: