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Statement from Dame Vera Baird QC on launch of new recruitment campaign for Victims’ Commissioner

Dame Vera Baird QC

The Ministry of Justice has today announced it is relaunching the recruitment process for the role of Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales.

The competition launches 25 August and will run until 19 September.

As the present incumbent, Dame Vera Baird has agreed to continue in post until 30 September, with an option to extend until the end of the year. Dame Vera has also been invited to reapply.

According to the public appointments portal, an announcement on the successful candidate is not expected until January 2023.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:

“The Ministry of Justice has today reopened the recruitment process to appoint a Victims’ Commissioner for a new three-year term, following instruction by the Deputy Prime Minister.

“This follows an earlier recruitment round in March, in which I was a candidate. At the time, I was encouraged publicly and in private by the Deputy Prime Minister to put myself forward. I was happy to do so, and I have received assurances since from the Ministry of Justice that I was an appointable candidate from that process.

“As such, the decision to open the recruitment process again is a puzzling one. I have been advised that this is because the present and interim government did not feel in a position to appoint. This is disappointing.

“At this critical juncture, victims need a strong advocate to fight their corner. There is the enormous Crown Court backlog, set to further multiply due to government inaction over barristers’ pay, a Victims’ Bill which requires significant work, and a Bill of Rights which is set to erode rather than strengthen victims’ rights. Reopening the recruitment process at such a pivotal moment looks like folly.

“I am invited to remain in post until the end of the year and apply again for this role. I will carefully consider both – and will reflect further when a new government is in post.”


Editors’ Notes:

  • On 10 March 2022, the government launched an open recruitment process for the role of Victims’ Commissioner. In a break from recent precedence, Dame Vera was not offered an automatic second term. At the time, Dame Vera announced her “firm intention” stand for a second term. Read the full press release from 10 March.