Terms and Conditions

 

Registered owner

This website is owned and maintained by Queen’s Counsel Appointments Ltd (QCA), registered office address: 3rd Floor, 73 Farringdon Road, London, England EC1M 3JQ.  Queen’s Counsel Appointments Ltd is a limited company Registration Number 05423088.

Use of Data

Data collected will be used by QCA for the sole purpose of running the competition.  QCA do not pass on any data, nor provide to third parties without specific consent.  QCA electronic data is stored in secure, UK-based servers.

Conditions of Use

This page (together with the documents referred to on it) tells you the conditions on which you may make use of our websites as listed below:

https://assessor.qcappointments.org/

https://grading.qcappointments.org/

http://www.qcappointments.org/

https://applications-2019.qcappointments.org

Please read these Conditions of Use carefully before you start to use the websites.  By using the websites, you indicate that you accept these Conditions of Use and that you agree to abide by them.  If you do not agree to these conditions, please refrain from using the websites.

Accessing the Websites

Access to the websites is permitted on a temporary basis, and we reserve the right to withdraw or amend the service we provide on the websites without notice (see below).  We will not be liable if for any reason the websites is unavailable at any time or for any period.

From time to time, we may restrict access to some parts or all of the websites to users who have registered with us.

If you choose, or you are provided with, a user identification code, password or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential, and you must not disclose it to any third party.  We have the right to disable any user identification code or password, whether chosen by you or allocated by us, at any time, if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Conditions of Use.

When using the websites, you must comply with the provisions of our acceptable use policy.

You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to the websites.  You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access the websites through your internet connection are aware of these Conditions of Use, and that they comply with them.

Reliance on information posted

All material posted on the websites is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice on which reliance should be placed.  Users are hereby placed under notice that they should take appropriate steps to verify such information.  No user should act or refrain from acting on the information contained in the websites without first verifying the information and as necessary obtaining legal and/or professional advice.

Our liability

QCA makes no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy of the information contained on the websites.  To the extent permitted by law, QCA expressly excludes all conditions, warranties and other terms which might otherwise be implied by statute, common law or the law of equity.

QCA expressly disclaims all liability and responsibility for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage incurred by any user arising from any reliance placed on materials posted on the websites by any visitor to the websites and by anyone who may be informed of any of their contents, or from the use or inability to use the websites, whether directly or indirectly, resulting from inaccuracies, defects, errors, whether typographical or otherwise, omissions, out of date information or otherwise, even if such loss was reasonably foreseeable and QCA had been advised of the possibility of the same.  Direct, indirect or consequential loss and damage shall include but not be limited to loss of profits or contracts, loss of income or revenue, loss of business, loss of goodwill, and wasted expenditure or management time.

Nothing in these Conditions of Use shall exclude QCA’s liability for death or personal injury resulting from its negligence, or fraudulent misrepresentation, nor any other liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.

Changes to the Websites

We aim to update the websites regularly, and may change the content at any time.  If the need arises, we may suspend access to the websites, or close it indefinitely.

Viruses, hacking and other offences

The user agrees that material downloaded or otherwise accessed through the use of the website is obtained entirely at the user’s own risk and that the user will be entirely responsible for any resulting damage to software or computer systems and/or any resulting loss of data, even if such loss and damage was reasonably foreseeable and QCA had been advised of the possibility of the same.

You must not misuse the websites by knowingly introducing viruses, Trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful.  You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to the websites, the server on which the websites is stored or any server, computer or database connected to the websites.  You must not attack the websites via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack.

By breaching the provision in paragraph 13, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.  We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them.  In the event of such a breach, your right to use the websites will cease immediately.

We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack, viruses or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data or other proprietary material due to your use of the websites or to your downloading of any material posted on them, or on any website linked to them.

 

Linking to the Websites

You may not link to our websites.

 

General

If any provision of these Conditions of Use or the Notice of Copyright (see below) is found to be invalid by any court having competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of that provision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions which shall remain in full force and effect.

QCA’s omission to exercise any right under these conditions of use or the notice of copyright shall not constitute a waiver of any such right unless expressly accepted by QCA in writing.  These Conditions of Use and the Notice of Copyright and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.  The user and QCA agree to submit any dispute (including any non-contractual dispute) arising out of or in connection with the use of the websites to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

We may revise these Conditions of Use at any time by amending this page.  You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we have made, as they are binding on you.  Some of the provisions contained in these Conditions of Use may also be superseded by provisions or notices published elsewhere on the websites.

 

Notice of intellectual property rights

Except where expressly stated to the contrary, all intellectual property rights in the text, graphics, information, motifs, logos, designs and databases contained in this site including the domain names, organisation and layout of the site and the software used in relation to the site are owned by QCA or its licensors.

You may print or download to a computer extracts of this site:

  • for personal use
  • for the purposes of journalistic work about the QC appointment process
  • for the purposes of informing prospective applicants about the appointment process.

Provided in all cases that:

QCA website is the acknowledged source; you do not modify the paper or digital copies of any materials you have printed off or downloaded in any way; and you do not use any graphics, illustrations or photographs, separately from any accompanying text.  This permission may be revoked at any time by QCA.  Material displayed on the site, in whole or in part, may not otherwise be copied, reproduced, republished or incorporated in any other work or publication, whether paper or electronic media or any other form, without the QCA’s prior written permission.  Sending copies of material to clients does not constitute reference purposes and is not permitted.

You may not reproduce or store any part of this site in any other website, document management system or electronic retrieval system (via screen-scraping or otherwise) without the QCA’s prior written permission.

You must not use any part of the materials on this site for commercial purposes (other than as expressly permitted herein) without obtaining a licence to do so from the QCA.

If you print off, copy or download any part of this site in breach of these terms of use, your right to use this site will cease immediately and you must, at the QCA’s option, return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made.

Any rights not expressly granted in this notice are reserved.

Acceptable Use policy

This Acceptable Use policy sets out the terms between you and QCA under which you may access the websites listed below:

(https://assessor.qcappointments.org/

https://grading.qcappointments.org/

http://www.qcappointments.org/

https://applications-2019.qcappointments.org

This policy applies to all users of, and visitors to, the websites.  Your use of the websites means that you accept, and agree to abide by, all the policies in this policy, which supplement our Conditions of Use.

Prohibited uses

You may use the websites only for lawful purposes.  You may not use the websites:

  • in any way that breaches any applicable local, national or international law or regulation
  • in any way that is unlawful or fraudulent, or has any unlawful or fraudulent purpose or effect
  • for the purpose of harming or attempting to harm minors in any way
  • to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any material which does not comply with our content standards to transmit, or procure the sending of, any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising or promotional material or any other form of similar solicitation (spam); or
  • to knowingly transmit any data, send or upload any material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time-bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful programs or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware.

You also agree:

  • not to reproduce, duplicate, copy or re-sell any part of the websites in contravention of the provisions of our Conditions of Use, or
  • not to access without authority, interfere with, damage or disrupt any part of the Websites, any equipment or network on which the websites is stored any software used in the provision of the websites, or any equipment or network or software owned or used by any third party.

Interactive services

We may from time to time provide interactive services on the websites.  Where we do provide any interactive service, we will provide clear information to you about the kind of service offered.  Information about data gathered during any interactions is covered by our Privacy Policy.

 

Suspension and termination

We will determine, in our discretion, whether there has been a breach of this Acceptable Use policy through your use of the websites.  When a breach of this policy has occurred, we may take such action as we deem appropriate.  Failure to comply with this Acceptable Use policy constitutes a material breach of the Conditions of Use upon which you are permitted to use the websites, and may result in our taking all or any of the following actions:

  • immediate, temporary or permanent withdrawal of your right to use the websites
  • immediate, temporary or permanent removal of any posting or material uploaded by you to the websites
  • issue of a warning to you
  • legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs on an indemnity basis (including, but not limited to, reasonable administrative and legal costs) resulting from the breach
  • further legal action against you, or
  • disclosure of such information to law enforcement authorities as we reasonably feel is necessary.

We exclude liability for actions taken in response to breaches of this Acceptable Use policy.  The responses described in this policy are not limited, and we may take any other action we reasonably deem appropriate.

Changes to the Acceptable Use policy

We may revise this Acceptable Use policy at any time by amending this page.  You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we make, as they are legally binding on you.  Some of the provisions contained in this policy may also be superseded by provisions or notices published elsewhere on our website.

Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice was last changed in February 2019.

 

  • Who we are; how to contact us

We are Queen’s Counsel Appointments Limited, referred to in this Privacy Notice as QCA, we, us or our.

We are a company, registered in England and Wales under with number 05423088.  Our registered office is at 3rd Floor, 73 Farringdon Road, London, England, EC1M 3JQ.

We are the “data controller” as regards the processing of personal data described in this Privacy Notice, and are responsible for ensuring that the processing is conducted in accordance with data protection law.

If you have any queries about this Privacy Notice, please contact us by writing to the above address, emailing us at enquiries@qcappointments.org or telephoning us at 0207-831-0020.

  • Our obligations

Our processing of personal data is regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.  The Data Protection Act 2018 contains certain exemptions from obligations under that Act and the GDPR.  These exemptions apply to personal data processed for the purposes of assessing a person’s suitability for the office of Queen’s Counsel, and also to personal data processed for the purposes of the conferring by the Crown of any honour or dignity.  We explain below some of the effects of these exemptions.

  • Your information

Your privacy is important to us and we aim to be open about we use individuals’ personal information, although, as said above, our use of information is subject to certain exemptions from regulation.

We describe in this section what personal information we collect, how we use it, why we use it (the legal basis), and how long we keep it.

Where we base our use of personal data on our legitimate interests, as indicated in the table below, this will apply only where we consider that our legitimate interest is not overridden by the individual’s interests or rights which require protection of their personal data.

Where we collect personal data through our websites, as mentioned below, this means through any of the following sites, access to which is protected by suitable security measures:

https://assessor.qcappointments.org/

https://grading.qcappointments.org/

http://www.qcappointments.org/

https://applications-2019.qcappointments.org

Information about applicants

Information related to applications

What? – We collect applicants’ information:

  • provided by them in their application forms submitted via our website or through other means, including name, title / salutation, contact details, career and professional details, self-assessment of their suitability for appointment as Queen’s Counsel, and other information they wish us to take into account;
  • provided when registering with us, such as log-in credentials;
  • contained in their communications with us;
  • contained in or generated from assessors’ assessments, including submitted through our websites, and notes of moderation meetings of our panel members, and correspondence with assessors and panel members about the applications.

How? – We use this information for the purposes of assessing the applicants’ suitability for appointment as Queen’s Counsel. Without the provision of this information, we would be unable to consider the application.

Why? – We consider it necessary in our legitimate interests to use this information for the purposes of the assessments.

We also consider that our use of this information to conduct the assessments is necessary for our performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of our official authority to assist the Lord Chancellor and the Crown in deciding on the appointments.

How? – We also use this information for statistical analysis related to applications and their results, and for reporting to the Lord Chancellor.

Why? – We consider it necessary in our legitimate interests to use this information in these analyses in order to manage, plan and improve our processes and the administration of our functions.

We also consider that our use of this information to operate our office is necessary for our performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of our official authority to assist the Lord Chancellor and the Crown in deciding on the appointments..

How? – We display on our website professional information about those applicants who have been appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Why? – We consider it necessary in our legitimate interests to so display this information to inform the public about appointments of Queen’s Counsel.

How long? – We will keep this information for a reasonable time for the assessment process.

Special categories of personal data

Special categories of data are personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership; genetic and biometric data used for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person; and data concerning a person’s health, sex life or sexual orientation.

What? – Our application form contains a questionnaire on disability, ethnic origin and sexual orientation (as well as on age and gender).

How? – We use this information for diversity monitoring purposes.  We do not use this information as any part of the assessment process.

Why? – We consider that collecting information on diversity  is necessary in our legitimate interest of administering an assessment process which is fair.  We also consider the use of such information for equal opportunities monitoring to be justified for reasons of substantial public interest.  We will not use this information if the applicant objects.  To object, please contact us through one of the methods in paragraph 1.

We anonymise (so that it ceases to be personal data) so that we can use it for statistical purposes or destroy this information within a reasonable time of receiving it, which would usually be on conclusion of the next competition following the one in which the information was provided.

What? – Where applicants include any special categories of information elsewhere in their applications, this is on an entirely voluntary basis. We do not seek such information.

How? – Where the application includes information on disability, we use this to accommodate the applicant’s needs in the interview process.  We also use the information for the assessment process if it is something the applicant has asked us to take into account.

Why? – We only use this information with the applicant’s consent, which may be withdrawn at any time.

How long? – If the applicant does not withdraw consent,  we will retain it for a reasonable time for the assessment process.

Information about offences

What? – Our application form asks the applicant about offences they may have committed and findings of professional misconduct.  Assessors may also provide this information about applicants. It is anonymised before the information goes to the panel.

How? – We use this information to determine whether, regardless of the degree to which they meet the other competencies, the applicant  is suitable for appointment as QC..

Why? – We consider that our use of this information to conduct the assessments is necessary for our performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of our official authority to assist the Lord Chancellor and the Crown in deciding on the awards.

How long? – We will keep this information for a reasonable time for the assessment process.

Applicant surveys

What? How? We use applicants’ contact information to conduct surveys about how we run the assessment process.  Applicants provide this information on a voluntary basis.

Why? – We consider that our use of such information is necessary in our legitimate interests of assuring the quality of the assessment process.

How long? – We anonymise (so that it ceases to be personal) this data so that we can use it for statistical purposes or destroy this information within a reasonable time of receiving it, which would usually be at the conclusion of the next competition following the one in which the information was provided.

Information about assessors, panel members and suppliers

What? – We collect business contact details, such as name, role, business addresses, and log-in credentials, of assessors, panel members, representatives of our suppliers, and other persons with whom we have a business relationship.  We also use their personal information where supplied in their professional correspondence with us.

How? We use this information for the assessments, for administering our relationships with those persons (paying expenses, arranging appointments, etc.), and/or for performing our contracts with them.

Why? – We consider that our use of such information is necessary in our legitimate interests of carrying out our function of operating the Queen’s Counsel appointment process.

How long? – We keep this information for the length of our relationship with the person in question plus six years in case a problem arises.

Legal requirements and professional advice

We may process personal information if necessary, on reasonable request by a law enforcement or regulatory authority, body or agency, or in the conduct or defence of a legal claim. We will not delete personal information if relevant to an investigation or a dispute. It will continue to be stored until those issues are fully resolved.

We may also use personal information when obtaining professional (including legal advice) in relation to audits and our business and consider this in our legitimate interests in managing our business.

  • Information we share

We disclose applicants’ personal data to assessors, panel members, and the Lord Chancellor’s officials.

We may also provide information of applicants, assessors, panel members and our professional business contacts to the suppliers of the systems we use for the assessment process or carrying out our functions. Those suppliers process the data on our behalf. They include Probase, DPC and Raycon, but the identity of our suppliers may change.

We may also provide the above personal data to our professional advisers (such as lawyers, accountants, auditors, IT consultants, management consultants).

  • Transfers of your information abroad

We do not store personal data outside the European Economic Area. We will only send it outside the European Economic Area where we have put in place adequate safeguards or as permitted by the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2019.

  • Security

The security of your information is important to us. We have established appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial safeguards to protect the personal information we collect. These safeguards are regularly reviewed to protect against unauthorised access, disclosure, and improper use of your information, and to maintain the accuracy and integrity of that data.

  • Your rights

You have the rights listed below as regards our processing of your personal data except where we are processing the data for the purpose of assessing an applicant’s suitability for appointment as Queen’s Counsel. Please note that, in addition, these rights may be qualified, for example, where your information is being used in legal proceedings.

You may exercise these rights by contacting us through the methods described in paragraph 1.

  1. Where our legal basis for using your information is consent, you may withdraw that consent at any time.
  2. You can ask us to confirm if we are processing your information. You can also ask to access your information.  We do not have to provide this information if this would adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others. If a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, in particular because of its repetitive character, we may charge a reasonable administrative fee or refuse to act on the request.
  3. You can ask to correct your information if it is wrong.
  4. You can ask us to delete certain of your information in certain circumstances, including where you have withdrawn consent to our using it; we no longer need it for the purposes described in section 3 or other purposes for which we collected it; or our reasons for using your data were based on legitimate or public interest and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to use the data.
  5. You can ask us to stop using your personal information where based on legitimate or public interest and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to use the data.
  6. You can ask us to restrict how we use certain of your information, including where you think it is inaccurate or you have objected to our using it.
  7. You can ask us to provide your information to you or another person in an easily readable format where our use of your information is based on consent or contract we process the information by automated means.
  • Complaints

If you have any complaints on how we use your personal data, or would like further information, we would ask you to first contact us. However, you can also always make a complaint about how we process your personal data with the UK Information Commissioner or the authority where you live, work or where the alleged infringement has occurred.  The Information Commissioner may be contacted as posted on www.ico.org.uk.

  • Changes to the policy

This policy will be changed from time to time.

If we change anything important about this policy (the information we collect, how we use it or why) we will indicate this at the tope of this Privacy Notice.

  • Cookies

We use cookies and similar technologies that identify your browser or device. They collect and store information when you visit our website about how you use it.

Our websites use these technologies to make our websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide web services and functionalities for the users.

We use only essential cookies or other technologies to store sessions in the user’s browser which tell out site if the user has logged in. We also use essential session cookies (which expire when the user leaves the site) to enable our websites to function properly.

Our websites do not use any third party cookies.

To disable cookies

Most web browsers allow control of cookies through the browser settings. By adjusting your web browser, you may avoid receiving cookies. However, this might result in the services on the website not functioning optimally. The method used to block cookies will depend on the web browser used. Consult the “Help” or corresponding menu in your web browser for instructions.

To find out more about cookies, including how to see, what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org.

Purpose

The purpose of this Privacy Policy is:

  • to assure you that we recognise and fully respect the privacy and personal data of the visitors to these websites; and
  • to explain what personal information we collect from the websites and how we ensure its best protection.

This Privacy Policy governs QCA websites as follows:

https://assessor.qcappointments.org/

https://grading.qcappointments.org/

http://www.qcappointments.org/

https://applications-2019.qcappointments.org

This Privacy Policy covers only information which is collected by the QCA from the websites.  It does not cover information which the QCA may have gathered from other sources.

Data protection

QCA complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”).  For the purposes of the Act, QCA is the data controller and sole owner of the personal data collected on the websites.  QCA does not sell, share or transfer this information except as set out in this Privacy Policy.

We use up-to-date industry procedures to keep personal data as safe and secure as possible and to protect against loss, unauthorised disclosure or access.  Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure.  Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the websites; any transmission is at your own risk.  Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

The Act gives you the right to access details that we hold about you.  Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act.  A small fee may be payable in respect of any access request.

Information we may collect from you

It is necessary for you to register with us in order to access the website https://applications-2019.qcappointments.org all our other website do not require registration. However, we may collect some information from interactive features such as online surveys, contact and registration forms.  The basic personal information about you which we may collect and process is:

  • your name
  • your user type (eg applicant, prospective applicant, assessor, member of the legal profession, member of the public)
  • your e-mail address
  • your user ID and password
  • information to enable an applicant to apply (complete application form)
  • information about an applicant (complete an assessor from)

Depending on what you are registering for, additional information may be collected from you.  We may also collect and process information provided by you at the time of posting material to the websites, as well as details of your visit to the websites (including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data), and the resources that you use.  Further, if you contact us, we may also keep a record of that correspondence.

Uses made of the information

We may use information held about you in the following ways:

  • to ensure that content from the websites is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer
  • to allow you to participate in any interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so, and
  • to notify you about changes to our service.
  • To ask you about QCA and its procedures.

If you do not want us to use your data in this way, please update your details at QCA by contacting us at enquiries@qcappointments.org

 

Cookies

Cookies are small text files stored on your computer while you are visiting a website.  Cookies help make websites work.  They also provide aggregated information about how users interact with our site.  We do not currently use this information to try to improve your experience on our websites.

The law about cookies changed in May 2011.  Websites must get your agreement before they set certain types of cookie on your computer or handheld device.

Changing the information we hold about you

If you would like to change any information we hold about you that has been collected via use of the Websites or want to it to be removed from our database, you should contact us at enquiries@qcappointments.org

Third Parties

QCA do not forward the information collected about you to third parties.

Consent

By using the websites, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information in the manner set out above.

Changes to Privacy Policy

The internet and data privacy best practice are both developing.  We therefore reserve the right to revise this Privacy Policy at any time.  If this Privacy Policy changes in any way, we will place an updated version on this page.  Regularly reviewing this page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy are welcomed and should be addressed to enquiries@qcappointments.org

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