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Legal Member

This appointment is closed and is displayed for reference only. 


Remuneration:£467.46 per day 


Closing date:02 July 2021 at midnight 

Role description

This is a rewarding role where you can make a real difference to people’s lives.  We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment and who wish to support the delivery of justice in Scotland.

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (MHTS) is responsible for making, and reviewing, orders for the detention and compulsory care and treatment of people in Scotland with a mental disorder.  The tribunal also deals with applications for an order that a person is being detained in conditions of excessive security or is unlawfully detained.

Successful candidates will be appointed by the Scottish Ministers, subject to the provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

Person Specification – Legal Member

You are eligible to apply for the role of legal member if you meet at least one of the conditions listed below, that is, that you have:

  • at least seven years standing as an advocate or solicitor admitted in Scotland; or

  • a seven year general qualification within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990; or

  • at least seven years standing as a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland or solicitor of the Supreme Court of Northern Ireland.

You will be required to:

  • prepare for hearings by reading the papers and identifying legal, procedural and factual issues that may require to be dealt with;

  • lead the pre-hearing discussion with the Medical and General tribunal panel members and agree how to conduct the hearing;

  • convene hearings, decide with the other panel members procedural and preliminary matters, and ensure that hearings are fair, as informal as possible and efficiently managed;

  • facilitate collective decision making, drafting the panel’s written decision with the statement of facts, reasons and any orders or directions of the panel to ensure that the law is appropriately applied and all relevant issues are covered in the written decision; 

  • ensure that parties who are not always represented can fully present their case and have it considered fairly;

  • ensure decisions and any orders of the panel are made efficiently, effectively and fairly;

  • explain legal terminology and technicalities and advise other panel members as required;

  • ensure the Tribunal follows its Rules of Procedure.

Experience of working in the area of mental health law and/or a general interest in mental health would be an advantage, as would experience of court or tribunal work.

The Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014

Under the provisions of the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”), the MHTS will transfer to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Mental Health Chamber and become a jurisdiction of the Scottish Tribunals.  It is expected that this transfer to the Scottish Tribunals structure will take place in 2022.  Appointments occurring prior to the transfer-in date will be subject to the provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

After the transfer-in date, appointments will become subject to the provisions in the 2014 Act.  This includes a compulsory retirement age, currently 70, as the provisions of section 26 of the Judicial Pensions and Retirement Act 1993 apply to transferred appointments.

Sift and Interview

The sift will take place week beginning 5th July 2021, with all candidates being informed of the outcome of the sift by no later than 23rd July 2021.  Interviews will be held in Edinburgh on 11th, 12th, and 13th August 2021.

If invited to interview, you will be asked to make a short presentation, on a topic that will be intimated with your invitation to interview.

Training dates

Compulsory induction training will be held 12th, 13th, and 14th January 2022 for those candidates who are successful.  As this training is delivered on a one-off basis, your application will not be progressed if you are unable to attend these training days.

If you are successful, your appointment is conditional on your attendance at all three days of this compulsory training.

How to Apply

To request an application pack, please e-mail: Please clearly state the type of membership you are interested in (legal, medical or general) and where you heard about the vacancy.

For further information about these posts please contact Harry Merrill on the above email address.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Friday 2nd July 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

The Scottish Ministers are committed to the principles of appointment on merit through an open, fair, transparent and impartial process. We invite applications from those with relevant experience, irrespective of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief.

If successful you will be required to produce a satisfactory enhanced disclosure certificate, which you will be liable to meet the cost of obtaining. The cost is currently £25.

Application Information

*Please note that this is not a regulated public appointment, therefore the Public Appointments Team are unable to answer any queries in relation to this vacancy, please contact the Board directly*

Additional Information