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The Judicial Office is looking for an experienced Grade 7 Head of News to lead a trusted press team based at the Royal Courts of Justice. The postholder will lead the team to ensure that judicial work, independence and the rule of law are reported fairly and accurately, and any incorrect media reporting is challenged.
The Judicial Office is independent of the Ministry of Justice and provides a trusted service to the judiciary across England and Wales. The candidate will be joining a multi-disciplinary comms team and be able to access professional support and expertise.
For candidates within the Civil Service this post is available on level transfer or on promotion.
The Judicial Office
The Judicial Office is an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice. We are a unique branch of the civil service, dedicated to supporting the judiciary and promoting judicial independence, to maintain confidence in the rule of law. We help the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals fulfil their responsibilities to the judiciary, in an ever-evolving justice system. We provide operational support, policy, legal and handling advice through a number of specialist teams.
The judicial Office was established following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, to support the Lord Chief Justice as Head of the Judiciary in his statutory and other leadership and administrative functions. It delivers a wide range of functions for the senior judiciary and to more than 20,000 judicial office holders including legal and policy advice, communications, international, training (through the Judicial College), human resources, welfare, library and information services. Through the independent Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, we deal with complaints about the conduct of judicial officeholders. The Judicial Office also provides support to the Chief Coroner and to the
Judge Advocate General and supports the Lord Chancellor on certain of his judiciary-related functions.
The postholder will lead a busy press team providing round-the-clock support to judicial office holders across the country. This postholder reports into the Head of Strategic Communications, and works alongside the Head of Judicial Communications, the Head of Reform Communications, and their respective teams to ensure a coherent and integrated communications approach.
The postholder will act as an advisor and provide guidance on how to mitigate for risks to the management board, private Offices and the wider organisation.
The postholder will also work with the broader organisation to improve public understanding of the role of the judiciary, their independence and the rule of law and help to foster continued public confidence in the judiciary.
The postholder will work closely with the Ministry of Justice Office press office and HMCTS representatives to ensure a good working relationship.
The key objectives will be to:Lead and manage the Press team, consisting of 4 x Band B Senior Press Officers and 2 x Band C Press Officers.Implement the media objectives of the judicial communications strategy.Lead the press office in providing expert advice and external communications support to the judiciary and bodies led by the judiciary.Take overall responsibility for ensuring all media enquiries are handled effectively, and activity is logged and monitored.Actively support the judges in high profile cases and other sensitive, high-risk situations.Proactively seek to arrange and support judges giving interviews to the media including regular briefing and annual refresher training for the media-trained panel of judges.Develop good working relationships with Judicial Office staff, particularly in Private Offices of the Heads of Division.Advise the senior judiciary and JO colleagues, including management board, on media and other external relations issues.Incorporate and use Government Communications Service and external comms expertise to reach audiences in the most appropriate and effective way.Advise on the use of the most effective channels, including digital, to enhance the effectiveness of press office.Maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of financial resources, ensuring value for money.Build relationships with key journalists, media outlets and other press offices.
This post requires an experienced media professional, with evidence of strong and visible leadership. You will need the confidence and experience to engage with a diverse range of senior judges and officials and provide advice and challenge when needed.
In addition, you should be able to demonstrate evidence of:Delivering media strategies and leading teams to support this.Acting as a trusted advisor and giving clear, evidence-based advice to senior individuals.Understanding the unique challenges of judicial office holders in delivering communications.Being able to work under pressure– while also maintaining sound judgement.
Essential qualitiesextensive press and media experience, within or outside of government;experience of leading a team; andexperience of building and maintaining effective relationships with very senior stakeholders, and with people across a range of partner organisations.
Desirable qualitiesan understanding of the judiciary, and/or the business of courts and tribunals.
This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:Leadership Seeing the Big Picture Making Effective Decisions Communicating and Influencing Delivering at Pace
To apply for this post, you will need to complete the online application form no later than 13 June 2022. The application will include:A CV setting out your career history, highlighting specific responsibilities and achievements that are relevant to the person specification for this role, including details where applicable of numbers of people managed, relevant achievements in recent posts, together with reasons for any gaps within the last two years.A Personal Statement (no more than 750 words) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential criteria, knowledge, skills and experience in the person specification.
Failure to complete both sections of the form (CV and Statement of Suitability) will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application.
Please note that we are unable to provide feedback to those candidates who are not shortlisted for interview. Written feedback will be made available (on request) to those candidates who attend interview.
The sift is due to take place from w/c 13/06/2022.Interviews/assessments are likely to be held w/c 27/06/2022.We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment will include:• An interview with a presentation on technical competencies.You are encouraged to become familiar with the Government Communications Framework (Government Communication Service (GCS) competencies), as you may be assessed against any of the technical criteria recorded within at G7 level, particularly under the ‘Press and Media’ discipline.