Making a complaint about a judicial office holder
If you want to make a complaint about someone who holds a judicial office you can do this through the Office of the Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland.
Complaints that the Office of the Lord Chief Justice deals with
The Office of the Lord Chief Justice deals with complaints about judicial office holders’ personal conduct. Examples of misconduct would include the use of insulting, racist or sexist language.
The Office of the Lord Chief Justice does not deal with complaints about judicial decisions. The usual way to challenge that type of decision is to appeal it or to seek a judicial review.
If you are unsure about whether your complaint relates to personal misconduct or to a judicial decision, you can contact the complaints officer in the Office of the Lord Chief Justice for assistance, as follows:
- phone: 028 9072 4616
Complaints about the conduct of a judicial office holder
The Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland is responsible for complaints made against members of the judiciary. A code of practice which sets out arrangements for investigating complaints can be found on the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service website.
How do you make a complaint about the conduct of a member of the judiciary?
If you want to complain about the personal conduct of a member of the judiciary you should write, email or phone the Office of the Lord Chief Justice.The Complaints Officer
Lord Chief Justice's Office
Royal Courts of Justice
Belfast BT1 3JF
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: 028 9072 4616
If for any reason you are unable to make your complaint in writing, you can telephone the office for assistance. If you require more information or assistance you can also contact the office by post, email or phone.
You will need the following information to make your complaint:
- your name, address and telephone number
- the name of the judge, magistrate, tribunal member or coroner
- the name of the court or tribunal hearing centre
- the number of the case
- the date of the hearing
- specific details about the reasons for your complaint
You should include as much detail as possible about your complaint, together with a note of any supporting evidence.
You should make your complaint as soon as possible after the incident. If your case or your appeal is still going on, the Office of the Lord Chief Justice will not be able to consider the complaint until the case is closed - but you should still let them know about your complaint as soon as you can.
What happens to your complaint?
When the Office of the Lord Chief Justice first receives your complaint, you will get an acknowledgement. If your complaint is not about conduct you will be told about other offices which might be able to help you.
When the complaints officer receives your complaint and is satisfied it is about conduct, you will be sent an acknowledgement letter. The complaints officer will then consider the issues you have raised and also the quality of evidence you have given.
The Office of the Lord Chief Justice aims to deal with your complaint and provide you with a full response, as soon as possible. However, if a judicial investigation is needed, the process may take several months. You will be kept informed of progress at all stages.