Vacancy -- Assistant Legislative Counsel

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Office of the First Minister and Brexit Group
Office of the Legislative Counsel
Executive Band 1 - £61,090 - £71,475
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Other location
Cardiff with flexibility to work in other Welsh Government Offices

Purpose of Post:

The Office of the Legislative Counsel is a team of specialist lawyers responsible for the drafting of Welsh laws. Our primary purpose is to give effect to Welsh Government policies by drafting Acts of the National Assembly for Wales. We also advise the Government on matters of legislative competence, interpretation and procedure. 

Legislative Counsel are required to draft law that implements the policy objectives of the Welsh Government in a way that is linguistically clear as well as legally effective. This is a challenging and intellectually demanding task, involving detailed analysis of legal issues, policy objectives and existing legislation. It also requires an exceptional degree of accuracy and attention to detail. 

Assembly Acts must fall within the devolved competence of the National Assembly for Wales: this requires them, among other matters, to be consistent with European law and the rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. The Office drafts legislation in both Welsh and English: Assembly Acts must be enacted in both languages, with each language having equal legal status. 

We also seek to draft legislation in a way that is consistent with the Government’s wider responsibility to the rule of law. The way in which laws are drafted makes a key contribution to a properly functioning legal system: laws must be drafted clearly to promote public understanding and to avoid unfair enforcement; laws must avoid contradictions, and laws must not command the impossible. 

We share a responsibility, along with legislators and policy makers, to maintain the clarity and order of laws applicable to Wales on what is commonly referred to as the statute book. The Welsh Government is committed to making Welsh law more accessible by consolidating the legislation applicable to Wales into Codes, and providing tools to help people find and understand Welsh legislation. 

We are seeking to make up to four appointments to the role of Assistant Legislative Counsel.

Key tasks:

The post holder’s primary responsibilities are to draft legislation, and advise Government lawyers and policy makers in connection with the drafting of legislation. 

The post holder will be included as part of the Legal Profession within the Welsh Government for all matters, including Continuous Professional Development. 

Key tasks are: 

  • To produce effective draft legislation.
  • To analyse instructions for proposed legislation thoroughly and, including by reference to existing legislation, policy, the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales, and administrative law, European law, and Convention rights.
  • To understand and advise on procedural matters thoroughly and effectively.
  • To communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with Welsh Government lawyers, policy makers and where appropriate staff of the National Assembly for Wales Commission, for the purposes of analysing instructions on proposed legislation, producing drafts, and advising on procedural matters.
  • To acquire and apply knowledge of new areas of law and contribute to office learning.
  • To work effectively to the production of bi-lingual text for legislation.

To develop and maintain good relations with the Legal Services Department and other Welsh Government Departments.

Development opportunities:

This post provides the opportunity to work as part of a committed and highly skilled team, in a unique and vibrant legal environment operating at the cutting edge of law, politics and the Welsh devolution settlement. 

Upon successful completion of an initial two year probationary period as a level 1 Assistant Legislative Counsel (on the Grade 7 pay scale), the post-holder will become a level 2 Assistant Legislative Counsel (on the Grade 6 pay scale). There is subsequent potential for progression through periodic internal boards from Assistant Legislative Counsel to a higher grade of Legislative Counsel. Further promotion to more senior levels is also possible as and when specific posts arise.

Closing Date:

02/06/2019, 16:00

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of developing and growing its bilingual workforce, and welcomes applications for any post from candidates who demonstrate their capability to work in both English and Welsh. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Full understanding of all work related material
Can understand all work-related conversations
Can prepare written material for all work-related matters

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria

Competencies (To be tested at interview only):

Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction 

  1. Making Effective Decisions: Analyse and evaluate pros and cons and identify risks in order to make decisions that take account of the wider context, including diversity and sustainability.


People Cluster – Engaging People 

  1. Leading and Communicating: Be open and inviting of the views of others and respond despite pressure to ignore, revert or concede. 
  2. Collaborating and Partnering: Seek constructive outcomes in discussions, challenge assumptions but remain willing to compromise when it is beneficial to progress. 

Performance Cluster – Delivering Results 

  1. Delivering at Pace: Maintain effective performance in difficult and challenging circumstances, encouraging others to do the same.

Job Specific Criteria (To be tested in the Personal Statement):

1. Honours degree of at least 2:1 grade or other evidence of academic ability of a high standard

2. Candidates should have a high level of analytical skills and ability to master complex legal concepts and practical situations.

3. Candidates should have an interest in language and methods of clearly and accurately expressing complex legal concepts, and be able to demonstrate highly effective written and oral communication skills.

For your application, you will need to prepare an up to date CV and a personal statement of no more than 2 sides of A4 outlining how you meet the job specific requirements. Please refer to the recruitment pack provided in the links below:

For this perticular scheme please ignore the guidance below relating to competencies and the 300 word limit.

Other Information

Please see below links to an Recruitment Pack availible to anyone interested in this vacancy:

This pack contains detailed information about the position how to apply of this vacancy.

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have a disability which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to a disability in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

This vacancy is closed to applications.