JOB TITLE: CROWN COUNSEL
TEAM: Attorney General
REPORTS TO: Attorney General’s Office
JOB PURPOSE: To take a full and active role in ensuring the good governance of Ascension Island by the provision of a full range of legal services to the Ascension Island Government (AIG) and active participation in the Government’s Senior Management Team.
Under the general supervision of the Attorney General, to:
- Provide day-to-day legal advice to AIG on the full range of legal and policy issues pertinent to a small British overseas Territory.
- Support the Government’s departments to achieve their objectives through the provision of strategic legal advice.
- Contribute to the good governance of the island by taking a proactive approach to the identification, mitigation and management of legal risks, and by working with colleague to find legal solutions to other risks.
- Provide legal support for the Government’s legislative agenda, in particular by providing legal advice on policy development, assisting with stakeholder engagement, liaising with external lawyers on legislative drafting (with the opportunity to draft secondary legislation) and supporting post-legislative implementation.
- Be available for consultation by the Island Council, not least by attendance at its formal meetings (and on occasion stand in for the Attorney General)
- Undertake the drafting of contracts / agreements and other legal instruments including, if required, being involved in any negotiation process leading up to the preparation of such contracts / agreements.
- Conduct civil and employment litigation on behalf of AIG, instructing outside lawyers where appropriate.
- With the support of the Attorney General’s Chambers, act as the prosecuting authority in respect of criminal matters in Ascension.
- Support the Island’s responsibilities in terms of child safeguarding through membership of the Ascension Island Safeguarding Children Board, providing legal advice as well as assisting in the review and development of policies and procedures.
- Ensure the provision of a high quality legal service through a process of continuous improvement and a proactive approach to developing new ways of working.
- Develop and maintain an effective system of knowledge management, ensuring that corporate knowledge is captured and maintained.
- Generally assist the Attorney General with the discharge of their responsibilities to provide a comprehensive legal service to AIG, and to perform any duties or undertake any task as may be reasonably requested by the Attorney General in furtherance thereof.
Health and safety – to share in the corporate responsibility for the safety of staff and visitors to the office/work environment.
Continuous development – responsible for your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
PERSON SPECIFICATION: Knowledge, skills, experience and personal attributes
- Solicitor or Barrister (or equivalent in a Commonwealth Jurisdiction) with at least five years post-qualification experience including both litigation and advisory work.
- Willingness and proven ability to be flexible in approach and to adapt to new areas of law quickly.
- Experience of managing the competing demands of a busy practice including the ability to prioritise, most likely gained through an in-house role.
- Experience of working proactively and with minimal supervision, taking a lead on key legal issues with confidence.
- A thorough understanding of public law, with the ability to understand the practical implications of human rights obligations.
- The resilience to operate in a high-profile role in a small, isolated community.
- The ability to engage with confidence with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels, including external stakeholders.
- Experience of working in-house, or in providing legal advice to local, island or central government.
- Experience of advising on policy development and in the drafting of primary and secondary legislation. Experience in employment law and litigation.
- Some understanding of the operation of public international law, in particular regarding maritime, aviation and environmental matters.
- Excellent negotiation and influencing skills.
A dynamic proactive style of work is as important to this position as specific competencies. Crown Counsel should be a “self-starter” who can be relied upon to deliver outputs with general supervision from a distance.
Crown Counsel will report to the St Helena-based Attorney General. Day to day oversight and direction will also be given by the Administrator of Ascension Island.
This job description indicates only the main duties and responsibilities of the post. It is not intended as an exhaustive list. The requirements of the role are likely to vary depending on the needs of the island.
AIG reserves the right to amend this job description from time to time, according to operational needs. Any changes will be discussed with you and confirmed in writing. Please note that you share with AIG the responsibility for making suggestions to alter the scope of your duties and improve the effectiveness of your post.
Updated: May 2021