81063 - Upper Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber ) Legal Officer
1. The Role
• Position: Legal Officer
• Directorate: Legal Operations (Royal Courts of Justice Group)
• Location: Field House, London
• Band: Pay span or equivalent: HEO (London)
• Contract Type: Permanent
The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.
His 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.
HMCTS is undertaking an ambitious reform programme. The programme will enhance the provision of a world-class justice system, in a manner that provides an improved user experience at reduced cost to the taxpayer. This will contribute to consolidating the UK’s position at the forefront of an increasingly competitive international legal market as well as ensuring access to justice for all.
The programme includes creating high quality digital services, modernising the court estate, updating and replacing its technology, speeding up and streamlining working practices, refurbishing buildings to reduce maintenance costs and provide much improved services for service users, especially vulnerable witnesses and victims.
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 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.
3. Role Overview
Working within the Royal Courts of Justice and Upper Tribunals group, the Legal Officer will support the effective administration of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (UTIAC).
4. The key purpose of the role
Working closely with judiciary, UTIAC lawyers, the Senior Legal Officer, legal professionals and tribunal administration teams, the Legal Officer will undertake a range of case management work relating Judicial reviews and Immigration Appeals to determine how best to advance caseloads and remove any barriers to effective and timely case progression.
5. The key objectives of the role include:
The Legal Officer will be required to have oversight of and undertake assessment of tribunal work and liaise with various stakeholders, including service users, to ensure effective case progression. This may include amongst other things:
• Checking that judicial review claims / immigration appeals have been lodged within the relevant timelines
• Ensuring that judicial review claims / immigration appeals are being addressed by the correct tribunal and at correct tribunal tier
• Reviewing and documenting levels of complexity
• Ensuring any relevant fees have been paid by Applicants/Appellants
• Ensuring judicial review claims / immigration appeals are made on the correct documentation and that all the information necessary to progress the case is present
• Ensuring judicial review claims and immigration appeals are correctly allocated
Operating under delegated judicial functions, manage the case by removing barriers to its progression and ensuring efficient allocation of tribunal resources. This will include:
• Extending time limits;
• Issuing standard directions for a party or other person to provide documents or information relevant to the proceedings;
• Give consent to withdraw a case;
• Make consent orders;
• Correct clerical mistakes or other accidental slips or omissions.
• Reviewing compliance with directions
• Giving listing instructions to administrative staff
Communicating with Key Stakeholders
• Ensuring effective engagement with judiciary, UTIAC lawyers, Administration staff, user groups and representative organisations in order to progress tribunals work effectively
• Think beyond own area of responsibility, considering wider policy and organisational implications of issues
Undertake any administration necessary to support the effective delivery of the Legal Officer role, ensuring:
• All relevant documentation is completed fully, accurately and in timely manner
• Physical and electronic tribunal case files and records are properly and tidily maintained
• Plan and allocate resources as necessary
The Legal Officer will report to a manager who is a Senior Legal Officer. In working under delegated judicial functions, the Legal Officer will receive technical input and direction from the UTIAC lawyers and relevant tribunal judiciary.
Operating within a regional cluster, the tribunal caseworkers will be expected to develop expertise across a number of tribunal jurisdictions in order to provide flexible technical case support across tribunals business.
You will be required to provide evidence on the following behaviours success profile at Level 3 at both sift and interview stages.
Making Effective Decisions
Understand own level of responsibility and empower others to make decisions where appropriate. Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making. Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular. Consult with others to ensure the potential impacts on end users have been considered. Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of other options, costs, benefits and risks.
Communicating and Influencing
Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact. Encourage the use of different communication methods, including digital resources and highlight the benefits, including ensuring cost effectiveness. Ensure communication has a clear purpose and takes into account people’s individual needs. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. Show positivity and enthusiasm towards work, encouraging others to do the same. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests.
Encourage joined up team work within own team and across other groups. Establish professional relationships with a range of stakeholders. Collaborate with these to share information, resources and support. Invest time to develop a common focus and genuine positive team spirit where colleagues feel valued and respect one another. Put in place support for the wellbeing of individuals within the team, including consideration of your own needs. Make it clear to all team members that bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable. Actively seek and consider input of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
Managing a Quality Service
Develop, implement, maintain and review systems and services to ensure delivery of professional excellence. Work with stakeholders to set priorities, objectives and timescales. Successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customers’ needs and gives value for money. Identify risks and resolve issues efficiently. Involve a diverse range of colleagues, stakeholders and delivery partners in developing suggestions for improvement. Establish ways to find and respond to feedback from customers about the services provided.
Delivering at Pace
Show a positive approach to keeping the whole team’s efforts focused on the top priorities. Promote a culture of following the appropriate procedures to ensure results are achieved on time whilst still enabling innovation. Ensure the most appropriate resources are available for colleagues to use to do their job effectively. Regularly monitor your own and team’s work against milestones ensuring individual needs are considered when setting tasks. Act promptly to reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance. Allow individuals the space and authority to meet objectives, providing additional support where necessary, whilst keeping overall responsibility.
A law degree or equivalent technical experience is desirable. The equivalent technical experience has been defined as:
“The demonstration of a transferable decision-making aptitude, working within a set framework or guidance and previous precedents, under a form of supervision.”
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.
MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.
All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
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 https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
- 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
- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Mojemail@example.com);
- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing team (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)
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: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.
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To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why.
For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).
If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:
- You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
- You were studying abroad
- You were living overseas with parents
In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.
Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.
We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.
Application form stage assessments
Interview stage assessments
A Great Place to Work for Veterans
The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans
Redeployment Interview Scheme
Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.
MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
· UK nationals
· nationals of the Republic of Ireland
· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules
This Vacancy is closed to applications.