Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales – Legal and Policy Officer

Posted May 20th, 2013 by sally

Salary: £25,000 plus Benefits
1 Year Fixed Term Contract

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is a permanent assembly of Catholic Bishops in these countries. The Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW) is a Trust established by the Bishops’ Conference to be the instrument required by civil law to enable financial and juridical actions to be legally carried forward.

We are currently advertising for a Legal and Policy Officer for a fixed term period of 1 year (there is a possibility that this could be extended). This is a key post within the Bishop’s’ Conference, reporting to the Assistant General Secretary (AGS) for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship. You will also be expected work as directed with the AGS for International Affairs and the General Secretary on particular issues of priority.

The post-holder will be responsible for providing legal advice and briefing to Bishops and secretariat staff of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales working on public policy issues (excluding education), to support the Bishops engagement with the legislative process in Whitehall and Westminster generally, to assist in the production of guidance on legal developments affecting the Church, and to represent the Bishops conference secretariat at external meetings as appropriate.

Duties include:
1. To research and provide timely briefing, support and advice on the legal aspects of policy and legislative issues as required;
2. To assist in the development of the Bishops’ Conference’s continuing engagement with the issues of assisted suicide/ euthanasia, and abortion, liaising with the Anscombe bioethics Centre, Living and Dying well and other groups as directed;
3. To assist in the production of guidance on the implementation of the Equality Act and any changes to legislation on the definition of marriage;
4. To attend and represent the Bishops Conference secretariat as appropriate at seminars and events, including those of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
5. To work closely with the Head of Parliamentary Relations, policy staff at Catholic agencies and other staff at the secretariat to ensure good communication and enhancement of common effort;
6. As needed to assist in briefing and informing Catholic and other interested parliamentarians and their staff;
7. As needed to attend the ecumenical Radar Group, other policy co-ordination groups;
8. As requested to monitor and advise on EU and Welsh Assembly legal developments of relevance to the Church.

The right candidate will:
• Be a Catholic with a good understanding of the moral and social teaching of the Church;
• Have a very strong academic background (with at least a 2:1 honours degree);
• Have a current UK legal qualification as either a solicitor or barrister (a practicing certificate or experience of pupillage or tenancy is not essential);
• Have very high professional standards of work, including a consistent attention to detail, complete reliability and accuracy, and a constant commitment to excellence;
• Understand that they will have access to confidential information, requiring absolute discretion at all times;
• Have the ability to organise work and prioritise tasks;
• Have sound judgement and the capacity for independent thought and action;
• Demonstrate a high degree of initiative and persistence combined with high levels of diplomacy.
• Have excellent written and oral communication skills
• Be a good team player
• Have a good sense of humour

If you would like to discuss the role informally and in confidence, please contact Charles Wookey on 020 7901 4812.

To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter to . Closing date is Friday 21st June 2013.

Due to the high number of responses we receive to our advertisements we are unfortunately not always able to respond individually to each applicant. If you don’t hear from us within 14 days you may assume you have not been selected on this occasion.