Deputy Director Judicial Policy (x2) ; Deputy Director Civil Law and Justice (x1)
We are seeking to fill up to three posts which are key to Ministers’ priorities on court and judicial reform.
1. Deputy Directors Judicial Policy – up to 2 posts
Judicial policy is at the heart of our work to deliver a modern courts and justice system. Although the policy area is long-standing, we are a newly-created directorate working to support the Lord Chancellor in his ambition to have a strong, engaged judiciary that meets the needs to the justice system now and in the future.
These are demanding Deputy Director roles which require an ability to work at pace, think strategically and operationally, engage in complex problem solving, and work with others across the Department, the judiciary and elsewhere in Whitehall. You will need to be an effective networker and influencer; and to thrive on handling a broad range of policy issues. You will be able to use your judgment, drawing in outside expertise as needed to develop your advice. An ability to work in partnership with colleagues in the judiciary and elsewhere in Government, will be essential. You will need to be able to engage effectively across departmental boundaries at a senior level.
You will also be an effective communicator, both orally and in your ability to produce compelling products which express complex ideas simply. You will be able to handle and balance a wide range of relationships, internally and externally, and to be credible at senior levels, including with Ministers, judges, senior government officials, and other stakeholders.
Across the two roles the key responsibilities include:
•Responsible for supporting advising the Lord Chancellor on his statutory duties.
•Managing the relationship with the judiciary for the Department and, as necessary, wider government.
•Managing the relationship with the UK Supreme Court and providing sponsorship of three judicial arm’s length bodies (the Judicial Office, the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman).
•Judicial workforce reform, including
o Talent and diversity: working with the judiciary and JAC to ensure that the judiciary remains able to attract the very best talent from as diverse a field as possible;
o Future ways of working for the judiciary in the context of the Courts reform programme;
o Supporting the judiciary in developing effective leadership at all levels of the judiciary.
• Judicial appointments policy, including international appointments.
•Pay and pension policy and reform including a major review of judicial pay.
•Managing judicial litigation and delivering remedy solutions on a number of judicial terms and remuneration matters.
2. Deputy Director for Civil Law and Justice
This is a fascinating and challenging role which lies at the heart of one of the top three priorities for the Secretary to State, namely delivering a modern courts and justice system. You will lead work to develop and deliver civil court reform, working closely with the senior judiciary and with operational colleagues, including those responsible for the civil courts within HMCTS.
You will work closely with HMCTS to deliver radical transformation, building on £1.1bn investment in modernisation and digitisation of the courts.
You will hold lead responsibility for a number of areas that are key to the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil justice system, including the cost of civil claims, enforcement, and support for the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, which makes rules of procedure in the civil courts. Several strands of work are of particular interest to the very centre of government, including tackling the abuse of whiplash claims and the future of the personal injury discount rate.
You will be responsible for ensuring the ongoing coherence and development of the general civil law, developing a new civil justice strategy and dealing with a wide range of issues that may attract parliamentary and public scrutiny and legal challenge. Specific areas of responsibility include the general law relating to contracts, tort, succession, trusts law and property ownership. You will be leading work from strategy formation through to detailed policy development and ultimately delivery, ensuring significant legislation is taken through Parliament. This work will often involve working closely with the Law Commission.
This is a demanding role which deals with thorny policy issues. Success requires building excellent working relationships with delivery partners (in particular HMCTS), the ability to inspire and keep the confidence of the senior judiciary and Ministers, analytical rigour, delivering at pace and the ability to understand complex procedural and legal issues and be able to communicate them clearly and simply. You will be leading a team drawn from three different policy Divisions and will need to build a strong sense of common purpose and direction, ensuring team members are supported to thrive in their new structure.
Key priorities for the role over the next 6-12 months include:
•Developing a new Civil Justice Strategy, which meet users’ needs and ensures our civil justice system remains world class.
•Personal Injury Discount Rate: taking forward work following the consultation on how, when and by whom the rate should be set with a view to possible legislation early in the new parliament.
•Court reform: developing the policy required to support the court reform agenda, and passing relevant legislation.
•Whiplash: taking forward a package of reforms announced in February to bear down on the number and cost of claims.
•Fixed Recoverable Costs: considering and, subject to ministers’ views, taking forward recommendations in the report Lord Justice Jackson will publish in July in which he will make proposals for extending fixed recoverable costs in civil cases.
Whilst the work of the civil justice system may not be as well known to the public as that of the criminal justice system it is of immense importance and its impact is felt very widely across society - in terms for example of the cost of insurance, the ability to gain compensation for an injury, the ability of individuals, businesses and local authorities to recover money they are owed, and how bailiffs go about their work.
Prior experience of the civil justice system is an advantage but by no means essential. However, you will need a willingness and ability to develop a sound understanding of the key principles, and relationships with key stakeholders, quickly.
Further information about the role and the application and selection process can be found in the candidate information pack via the link on this advert.