Recruitment for Scottish Sentencing Council Membership(Two Lay Members)

The Scottish Sentencing Council will be established later this year when the Scottish Government brings into force the relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.  The Council will be chaired by the Lord Justice Clerk.

Scottish Ministers are seeking enthusiastic and committed applicants who would like to be considered for appointment as lay members of the Council, namely one victims’ representative and one other person that is not eligible to be a judicial or legal member (“the ‘open’ position”).


You must have knowledge and understanding of sentencing and the wider criminal justice system; should be a collaborative individual with excellent listening and communication skills; you must have the confidence to challenge and debate proposals in a constructive way, to help fulfil your role as a member of the Council. In addition the victims’ representative must have a sound knowledge of the issues faced by victims of crime.


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 12 days’ commitment each year which will include attending meetings of the Council and any committees it forms, as well as attending engagement and promotional events.  Occasional travel within Scotland is likely.


Amongst other matters, members will:

  • develop the Council’s first business plan and annual report;
  • develop sentencing guidelines for the approval of the High Court of Justiciary;
  • advise and contribute to the development of sentencing policy;
  • advise 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;  and
  • engage directly with stakeholders and co-operate with others in the justice system.


These positions are not remunerated.


How to apply


The successful candidates will 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; and certain specified personal qualities.


The victims’ representative must have a sound knowledge of the issues faced by victims of crime. 


For the open position role, applicants may have experience or an interest in one or more of the following; academic study of research relating to criminal law or criminology or the use of statistics relating to sentencing, knowledge and understanding of issues affecting the welfare of family members of sentenced offenders and a sound knowledge of the issues faced by victims of crime.


To apply, please download a copy of the application form from:

 and submit it together with your CV to 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 Philip Lamont, Head of Criminal Law and Sentencing unit at


For further information on the Council please see:


Concurrent recruitment exercises


The Council is to be composed of judicial, legal and lay members.  Judicial and legal members are to be appointed by the Lord Justice General.  Individuals interested in the legal member positions can read more about these positions and download an application pack here www.appointed-for-scotland.orgA separate exercise is being carried out in respect of the appointment of judicial members.




Closing date for applications is Thursday 20 August 2015 at 12 noon


Interviews will be held during September 2015