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The Judicial Office press office is looking for an experienced Senior Press Officer (SIO) to add to an enthusiastic and trusted communications team based at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Judicial Office is independent of the Ministry of Justice and provides a trusted service to judges and magistrates 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 (LCJ) 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.
Reporting to the Head of News, you will work with five other press officers to assist with media relations and related communications activity. The Press team are responsible for providing support to the Lord Chief Justice, heads of division, judges and magistrates. You will be expected to take special responsibility for particular areas, such as Civil Law or Immigration Tribunals, which will be confirmed at a later stage.
You will have direct and frequent contact with judges and with the media and take part in the out-of-hours duty press officer rota. (These out of hours duties are much less onerous than for a Government press office and a small allowance is paid). The press team deal with high-profile cases which often make the headlines and the environment can be demanding. The successful candidate will:Develop good working relationships with Judicial Office staff, particularly in Private Offices of the LCJ and the Heads of Division. Support senior judges and the judges at all levels with advice on media handling including statements, rebuttals, preparation for interviews, and preparation of draft responses or statements both pre-empting and reacting to media questions. Facilitate accurate and timely coverage of courts and tribunals judgments and decisions and publish written versions where appropriate. Respond professionally and promptly to breaking stories generated by judges or court cases during office hours and when on duty; alerting and consulting senior and other judiciary and officials as appropriate. Write accurate, authoritative and concise copy to produce press statements and to assist judges to produce summaries of judgments, articles for internal and external use and information for the website. Post relevant information on Twitter and other social media channels. Build relationships with key journalists.
Skills & Qualifications
The successful candidate must:Have at least two years' experience as a Press Officer or working in a media newsroom.Be able to work in a fast-paced environment.Be adept at simplifying complex material while retaining the meaning.Confident speaking to senior stakeholders.
Experience of working in the field of justice