How to Make a Judicial Complaint in the UK
You must make a judicial complaint within three (3) months of when the matter that caused a complaint took place.
The process differs depending on whether the complaint is about a tribunal, a magistrates’ court, or a judge sitting in other types of courts.
There is a different complaints process used to challenge a judge’s decision (or sentence handed out). As a rule, it is best to get legal representation to make this kind of appeal.
Note: You can perform an online search for legal advice (e.g. a solicitor). The facility allows you to locate a legal adviser in your area by name or by postcode.
Complain about a Tribunal Judge
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) does not handle complaints about tribunal judges and members.
Instead, you should contact the Tribunal President that dealt with the one that you went to. Thus, this particular process would apply to an employment tribunal or an immigration tribunal, for example.
Complain about a Magistrate (JP)
Likewise, the JCIO does not respond to complaints about magistrates (justices of the peace). Instead, you should contact an advisory committee in the area for your court.
Note: A member of staff at your local court can also give you the contact details of an advisory committee.
Judges Sitting in other Courts
You can make a complaint about judges sitting in other courts online via the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) website. The complaints process relates to:
- Crown Court judges
- District judges
Note: The process to complain about the way a judge, a sheriff, or a justice of the peace behaves in court (or outside) differs in Scotland.
Unhappy about the Handling of a Complaint?
There is another process to follow if you are unsatisfied with the way your complaint was dealt with. You should contact the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO).
Note: Use the JACO judicial conduct complaint form to make a complaint about judicial conduct. Complaints to the JACO must take place within 28 days of the notification that the original complaint got dealt with and closed.
Download the judicial conduct complaint form, fill in the details, and send the completed document, by email or by post, to:
Postal Area 1.55
102 Petty France
Note: The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) produce guidance notes on how to apply to the ombudsman. It explains the steps to make if you made a complaint about a judge or another judicial officer and feel it was not dealt with in the proper manner.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Appeal a Sentence or a Conviction
The guide explains the legal process of making an appeal against a sentence or conviction ordered by the Crown Court in United Kingdom.
Note: The Attorney General’s Office may review an unduly lenient sentence if you ask for a Crown Court sentence to be reviewed.
How to Complain about a Legal Adviser
As a rule, you should follow the complaints procedure to complain about a legal adviser. An alternative is to contact the Legal Ombudsman instead.