Advocate member – Scottish Sentencing Council



Advocate member

The Scottish Sentencing Council was established in 2015 under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”).

The 2010 Act provides that one of the members of the Council is to be an advocate practising in Scotland. The term of appointment of the present advocate member of the Council will end in October of this year. Applications are therefore invited for the advocate member position on the Council. We welcome and encourage applications from the widest possible range of eligible persons, and particularly from protected groups covered by the Equality Act 2010.

Appointments will be made under the 2010 Act and in accordance with The Scottish Sentencing Council (Procedure for Appointment of Members) Regulations 2015. (Please note that under the 2010 Act prosecutors are not eligible for this position.)

About the Council 

The Council is chaired by the Lord Justice Clerk. It has statutory objectives to:

  • promote consistency in sentencing practice,
  • assist the development of policy in relation to sentencing, and
  • promote greater awareness and understanding of sentencing policy and practice.

The Council’s functions include:

  • preparing sentencing guidelines for the Scottish courts,
  • publishing guideline judgments issued by the Scottish courts, and
  • publishing information about sentences imposed by the courts.

It also has powers to publish information about, and conduct research into, sentencing and to provide advice and guidance of a general nature on sentencing matters.

The Council’s programme of work is set out in its business plan for 2018-21. Current priorities include the development of sentencing guidelines in relation to the sentencing of young people, causing death by driving, and sexual offences (with an initial focus on indecent images, rape, and sexual assault).

Members should expect approximately 12 days’ commitment each year, which will include attending meetings of the Council and any committees the member sits on, as well as attending engagement and promotional events. Occasional travel within Scotland is likely.

What Council membership will involve

Amongst other matters, members are expected to:

  • contribute to the development of sentencing guidelines for the approval of the High Court of Justiciary;
  • advise on and contribute to the development of sentencing policy;
  • advise on and contribute to the promotion of awareness and understanding of sentencing policy and practice;
  • contribute to identifying areas for research or analysis, and consider the outputs of any such research;
  • engage directly with stakeholders and co-operate with others in the justice system; and
  • contribute to the development of the Council’s business plan and annual reports.

This position is not remunerated. Expenses are paid in accordance with paragraph 6A of Schedule 1 to the 2010 Act, and the Council’s standing orders.

How to apply                                                                                                                         

Successful candidates will meet certain criteria in the following areas:

  • legal knowledge and skills;
  • understanding of sentencing policy and practice and the criminal justice system;
  • understanding of the impacts of sentencing; and
  • certain specified personal qualities.

To apply, please download a copy of the application form and submit it together with your CV to sentencingcouncil@scotcourts.gov.uk. We would also be grateful if applicants would submit the equal opportunities monitoring form alongside their application.

Please read the candidate information form which contains full details of the application and selection process and information on Council membership.

For further information about the position or recruitment process, please contact Graham Ackerman, Secretary to the Council, at sentencingcouncil@scotcourts.gov.uk or on 0131 240 6822.

To find out more about the Council, please visit www.scottishsentencingcouncil.org.uk

Essential dates

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 13 September 2019

It is anticipated that interviews will be held during the week commencing 21 October 2019