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This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 



Location:Parliament House, Edinburgh, but on occasion may be scheduled to take place elsewhere in Scotland 

Closing date:16 September 2019 at midday 

Recruitment for Scottish Sentencing Council Membership

The Scottish Sentencing Council was established on 19 October 2015  under the relevant provisions in Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.  The Council is an independent advisory body which carries out a range of work concerning sentencing in Scotland.  

Further information about the role and work of the Council can be found on the Council’s website: www.scottishsentencingcouncil.org.uk

The Council, including the chair, consists of 12 members.

The Lord Justice Clerk is the Chair of the Council and a member by virtue of her office. The remaining members are composed of five judicial and three legal members, appointed by the Lord Justice General, and three lay members - one constable, one person with knowledge of victims' issues and one other person who is not qualified as a judicial or legal member (“the ‘open’ position”), appointed by the Scottish Ministers.

In November last year, the Council published its second business plan for the period 2018-21, which outlines the Council’s work programme over the coming three years and builds on progress since the establishment of the Council in 2015. 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).

Scottish Ministers are seeking enthusiastic and committed applicants who would like to be considered for appointment to “the ‘open’ position” of the Council.

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from the widest possible range of eligible persons and particularly from protected groups covered by the Equality Act 2010. 

What membership will involve

The Council 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.

Members should expect approximately 12days’ 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.

Amongst other matters, members will: 

  • 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.  

The 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

The successful candidate will seek to meet the criteria in the following areas: 

  • knowledge and understanding of sentencing and the wider criminal justice system;

  • knowledge and understanding of the impacts of sentencing;

  • knowledge and experience of academic study or research relating to criminal law or criminology or the use of statistics relating to sentencing, or equivalent professional experience; and   

  • Certain specified personal qualities.

To apply, please download a copy of the application form via the link below and submit it together with your CV to Linsay.Mackay@gov.scot.  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 please contact Linsay Mackay, Policy Officer, Criminal Law and Sentencing unit at Linsay.Mackay@gov.scot


Closing date for applications is noon, Monday 16 September 2019

Interviews will be held during September 2019

The successful candidate may be invited to attend a familiarisation meeting during October or November 2019

Application Information

Additional Information

  1. Applicant Information Pack