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General and Legal Members

This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£205 per day for General Members and £318 per day for Legal Members 

Location:Various locations throughout Scotland 

Closing date:16 October 2017 at midnight 

Appointment of Members to the Parole Board for Scotland

Scottish Ministers are looking to make up to 23 appointments to the Parole Board for Scotland (PBS).  This will comprise of up to 17 General Members and 6 Legal Members.

Information about the Parole Board for Scotland (PBS)

The Parole Board for Scotland is a Tribunal Non-Departmental Public Body established under the provisions of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989, the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 and the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001The Parole Board (Scotland) Rules 2001 set out the conditions which govern the exercise of the Board’s duties.

The PBS is a key part of Scotland’s criminal justice system.  It’s entirely judicially independent and its statutory functions include:

  • deciding on the suitability for early release on licence of long term prisoners (those sentenced to four years or more) to serve a portion of their sentence in the community – subject to statutory requirements to release at the two-thirds stage of their sentence.  The prisoner may be offered the opportunity of an oral hearing in certain circumstances;

  • the power to direct the release on licence of life sentence prisoners once they have served the punishment part of their sentence if satisfied that the prisoner no longer requires to be confined for the protection of the public;

  • consideration of the need to recall to custody offenders whose risk can no longer be safely managed in the community and, subject to the statutory test, the case for directing re-release.  The recalled offender may be offered the opportunity of an oral hearing in certain circumstances;

  • sitting as a Tribunal, to consider the case for re-release of recalled extended sentence prisoners; and

  • interviewing victims of life sentence prisoners, who under Section 28 Victims and Witnesses Act 2014 can give their representations personally to a member of the PBS.

For Tribunals, Members will sit as panel of three.  A Legal Member will always chair the Tribunal.  A Tribunal is held with the prisoner.  In exceptional circumstances, Members may sit as a quorum of two with one being a Legal Member.  For Casework meetings, Members will sit as a panel of three.  A Legal Member may chair the meeting but it can be chaired by a General Member.  Casework meetings will include a panel of three Members who consider immediate re-release (following recall).  The re-release panel will always be chaired by a Legal Member.  For all Casework it is a paper-based decision where the prisoner is not present.  For Oral Hearings, Members will sit as panel of three.  A Legal Member will always chair the Oral Hearing.  An Oral Hearing is held with the prisoner.  The initial consideration is made at the Casework meeting and some cases result in an Oral Hearing before a decision to release or not is made by PBS.

No Member will be expected to reach a decision (release or not, licence conditions etc) in isolation.  A decision will always be reached by a minimum of two and a maximum of three.

About the role

As a Member (General or Legal) your duties will be judicial in nature, and will include:

  • communicating effectively with victims, prisoners, relevant professionals and witnesses who may appear at Tribunals or Oral Hearings;

  • deciding on the suitability for release on licence of long-term prisoners (those sentenced to four years or more) to serve a portion of their sentence on licence in the community;

  • considering whether to direct the release on licence of life sentence prisoners once they have served the punishment part of their sentence;

  • obtaining the views of victims of crime where a life sentence has been imposed;

  • consideration of the need to recall to custody offenders who have breached their licence conditions and the case for directing re-release; and

  • if you are a Legal Member, to chair Tribunals/Oral Hearings.

Members aren’t involved in management or corporate governance.  But up to three members may serve in management or governance functions as part of the Board’s Management Group.  Members may also be involved in quality assessments, staff training and also training for agencies that provide information and evidence for PBS.


We are looking for people who have extensive experience in the criminal justice system in Scotland and who perform or have performed at a senior level in a part, or in parts, of that system.  The kind of experience we want from General Members will typically come from having, for example, operated at a senior or management level in Criminal Justice Social Work, Scottish Prison Service, the Police Service or Forensic Mental Health services.  Legal Member applicants will have been qualified advocates or solicitors in Scotland for not less than 10 years with experience of the Scottish criminal courts system and will have conducted many cases in courts of varying levels dealing with eliciting evidence and with issues of credibility and reliability of evidence, the weight to be applied to such evidence and the application of legal principles to evidence to arrive at conclusions.  Legally qualified members of the Judiciary will have gathered such experience in presiding over criminal courts.

Priority skills

All appointees (General and Legal) must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • analyse information and make decisions;

  • challenge the decisions of others in a constructive and supportive way;

  • communicate effectively.

General skills and personal qualities

All appointees (General and Legal) should be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability and willingness to adapt and work in a changing environment;

  • the ability to be effective at self-management.

Legal Member

Those applying for the Legal Member role must also be:

  • a qualified advocate or a qualified solicitor in Scotland for not less than 10 years; or

  • a current or former Senator of the College of Justice; or

  • a current or former Sheriff Principal, Sheriff or Summary Sheriff; and

  • be able to lead effectively.

Length of appointment

The appointments are for up to seven years.  There is the possibility of reappointment subject to evidence of effective performance and satisfying the skills and knowledge required at the time of reappointment and beyond.  Any appointments and subsequent re-appointments will not extend beyond the limits established by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland which currently stipulate a maximum of eight years.

Time commitment

We expect all Members to commit around eight to ten days per month, on PBS work including preparation.  Commitment may vary from month to month but we would not anticipate this being in excess of ten days per month.

A review of the way the PBS carries out its work has been undertaken and Scottish Government is considering if any legislative change is necessary.  Presently the PBS convenes for Casework Meetings twice a week, approximately 50 times a year.  These consist of two panels of three members.  These meetings are usually held at Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh.  Members can participate via Live Link (video link or by telephone link).


General Members receive a daily fee of £205.00.  Legal Members receive a daily fee of £318.00 unless acting in the capacity of a General Member when they will receive the lower daily fee of £205.00.

Members are entitled to be reimbursed by the PBS for reasonable travel, subsistence and care expenses incurred in relation to the Board’s work that appear to be necessary or expedient for the proper discharge of functions.  Reimbursement will be at prevailing Scottish Government rates.


Tribunals and Oral Hearings will be held at various locations (prison, secure unit/hospital).  They may also be held by Live Link from Edinburgh, Glasgow or prison to prison.  Members will also have to undertake face-to-face victim interviews.  As a consequence, Members will need to travel throughout Scotland.  The PBS will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that a Member may request to enable them to participate fully.

Further information about duties and functions of the PBScan be found at www.scottishparoleboard.gov.uk or by contacting Colin Spivey, Chief Executive of the PBS on 0131 244 1589 or at colin.spivey@gov.scot.

Closing date for applications is Monday, 16 October 2017

Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented on Scotland’s public bodies, such as women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and people aged under 50.  Accessibility to public appointments is a fundamental requirement and the public appointments process promotes, demonstrates and upholds equality of opportunity and treatment to all applicants.  The Scottish Government will always give consideration to disability-related reasonable adjustments that an applicant might request to enable them to meet the person specification and participate fully in the selection process. 

Appointed on merit; committed to diversity and equality


Application Information

An application pack and full details on this and other public appointments can be found at the public appointments website www.appointed-for-scotland.org/.  If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or in the event that you require the application pack documentation in an alternative format, please contact Scottish Government Public Appointments, on Freephone 0300 244 1898 or by email at public.appointments@gov.scot


Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack
  2. FAQs