Interim OEP in recruitment drive for environmental law experts

The Interim Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has posted six job vacancies, including for the role of environmental lawyer and principal environmental analyst.

According to the job specification for the environmental lawyer role, which can be found on the DEFRA job site, the new environmental regulator “will be the cornerstone of our environmental governance system now we have left the EU”. 

DEFRA said the OEP would have “a unique role in tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time, from climate change to biodiversity loss. Its legal team will be at the heart of its operations, working on high profile, complex legal issues at the cutting edge of environmental public law”. 

For the lawyer role, the department said it was looking for “highly capable individuals, from any background, who have expertise in environmental law and/or public law and who have the agility to work across a wide variety of legal problems, as well as the enthusiasm and aptitude to tackle complex issues”. 

The successful applicant for the lawyer role can expect a salary of between £47,549 - £54,728.

The principal environmental analyst will be in the same salary range and “will manage an ambitious programme of work with the opportunity to influence policy recommendations on how the 25-Year Environment Plan will be implemented by government in years to come”, according to DFERA.

The other roles advertised are for a senior complaints officer, a complaints officer, an executive support officer and a monitoring environmental law officer.

The closing date for applications is 19 April.

According to the job site, the interim OEP will be set up as a division within DEFRA, although operating “as independently as possible”.

Successful candidates in the recruitment drive will initially be employed by DEFRA in the Interim OEP until the OEP is legally established, it said. Once the OEP is up and running, DEFRA says it intends that the successful candidate’s employment will be transferred over to the OEP on their existing terms and conditions and they will become public servants.

The OEP will be a non-departmental public body sponsored by DEFRA. This means it will operate independently from DEFRA and will not be part of the UK Civil Service, according to the department.

Last month in an interview with ENDS, the OEP chair Dame Glenys Stacey argued that the new watchdog would be “one of the most important organisations of our time... dealing with one of the most pressing issues of our time”. 

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