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Closing Date: 21 April 2023

Legal Assistant (Public Prosecutor) – Public Prosecution Service NI

Legal Assistant (Public Prosecutor) – Public Prosecution Service NI (PPSNI)

Role: Public Prosecutor / Legal Assistant

Locations: Belfast & Eastern Region, 93 Chichester St Belfast BT1 3JR

Western & Southern Region, 35 Limavady Road, L/Derry BT47 6LP

Rate of Pay: £20.66 per hour (£39,748)

Location: Belfast

Duration: up to 12 months (with possible extension)

Hours: 37hrs per week



Applicants will be required to provide evidence against the eligibility criteria on their application form.

The Director will designate the successful applicants as Public Prosecutors in pursuance of section 29(5) of Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002.

1. In order to be designated, the successful applicants, at the time of appointment, must be a Barrister or Solicitor who is entitled to practise either at the Bar of Northern Ireland or as a Solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.


2. Have at least one year’s post qualification advocacy experience in criminal cases, gained within the last 6 years, in a Magistrates’ court environment.


The PPSNI is the principal prosecuting authority in Northern Ireland. In addition to taking decisions as to prosecution in all cases initiated or investigated by the police, it also considers cases initiated or investigated by other statutory authorities, for example HM Revenue and Customs.

The PPSNI sits at the heart of the criminal justice system. The PPSNI works in partnership with the Department of Justice; the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service; the Northern Ireland Prison Service; the Police Service of Northern Ireland; the Probation Board for Northern Ireland; and the Youth Justice Agency, as part of the Criminal Justice System Northern Ireland.

PPSNI Services

The primary role of the PPSNI is to reach decisions to prosecute or not to prosecute and to have responsibility for the conduct of criminal proceedings. Additional services are also available which have been designed to enhance the effectiveness of the PPSNI, including the provision of prosecutorial and pre-charge advice.

Organisational Structure

The PPSNI is a regionally based organisation. There are two regions:

  • Belfast and Eastern; and
  • Western and Southern.

Each region is headed by an Assistant Director (AD). The AD is responsible for working with the courts and the police to provide a high quality prosecution service in their area. The regions deal with a wide range of cases, from the less serious summary cases, which are heard in the Magistrates’ Courts, through to more serious indictable cases which are heard in the Crown Court.

In addition there are four legal sections, based in PPSNI Headquarters, which are also headed at AD level. These sections are as follows:

  • Serious Crime Unit deals with a range of the most serious offences including murder, manslaughter, rape and other serious sexual offences, human trafficking, prostitution and related offences.
  • Central Casework Section deals with some of the most high profile and difficult cases in Northern Ireland, including files relating to terrorism and organised crime.
  • Fraud and Departmental Section deals with serious and complex fraud files submitted by the police, as well as files from Government Departments and agencies.
  • Appeals and International Section deals with a range of specialist legal matters, including High Court bail applications, restraint and confiscation orders, extradition, internal letters of request, judicial reviews, appeal to the Court of Appeal and cases referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.


The main duties of a Public Prosecutor will include:-

  • Consideration of files submitted by police and government departments with a view to deciding, or advising, as to prosecution in cases alleging the commission of an offence which can be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court;
  • Preparation of papers for prosecution, where appropriate, and directing such charges and evidence as is appropriate in each case;
  • Prosecution of cases anywhere in Northern Ireland, in the Magistrates’ Courts and, on occasion in the County Court;
  • On occasion preparing committal papers in Indictable cases;
  • Providing prosecutorial advice, liaising and communicating with criminal justice stakeholders including victims and witnesses;
  • Carrying out such other duties as are required of a Public Prosecutor by the business needs of the PPS.

The above list is not exhaustive but gives a good indication of the main duties of the post. The emphasis on particular duties will vary over time according to business needs.


The Public Prosecution Service has regional offices in Belfast, Londonderry and Newry. These temporary posts will be based in Belfast and Londonderry however successful candidates may be required for business needs to work in any PPS location.

Hours of Work

The successful candidate will normally be required to work 37 hours each week and will be required to work outside normal working hours, when necessary to facilitate business needs. The successful candidates may be required to participate in a rota for attendance at court on Saturdays and Bank/Public Holidays which attracts the appropriate allowance.


Successful applicants will be required to undertake several security checks including an Access NI Disclosure check and a further CTC check before commencement of role. Any information given will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Annual leave

Annual leave is accrued based on attendance. Flexible working hours can also be worked in accordance with current NI Civil Service policy.

To be shortlisted for this role all applicants MUST meet the essential criteria.

If you are interested please email a CV to who will also be able to answer any queries with regards to terms and conditions of employment.

Please indicate your preferred office location (L/Derry or Belfast).

Staffline will be in touch with applicants to confirm if they have been shortlisted.

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