We can only deal with complaints about the misconduct of judicial office-holders.
We cannot accept complaints about a judge’s decision or the way a judge has managed a case.
Please see the ‘What can I complain about?’ page for further information before making a complaint.
Time limit for making a complaint
A complaint must be made within three months of the matter complained of. We can only extend this timescale in exceptional circumstances.
Please note that:
Details we need from you
Please read the guidance below to find out which details we need you to include with your complaint. You can then contact us if you are still unsure about the details we need.
Rule 8 of the Judicial Conduct Rules 2023 states that a complaint must:
What does an “allegation of misconduct” mean?
An allegation of misconduct means that your complaint is about a judge’s personal behaviour, not about a decision or order which they have made, or how they have managed a case. It means you believe that a judge’s personal behaviour has fallen below the standards of conduct in the Guide to Judicial Conduct See What can I complain about?
What does “supported by relevant details” mean?
Relevant details means that we need you to be specific about what you are alleging the judge said or did which you believe was misconduct. It will not be enough to say: “the judge was rude to me” or “the judge shouted at me”. To be able to accept and consider your complaint, we need you to give us relevant details.
The table below provides further details of the kind of relevant details we need to assess your complaint.
|Type of complaint||Details We Need|
Something a judge said e.g., rudeness, and/or something about a judge’s tone or manner e.g., shouting, laughing inappropriately, sarcasm, (This may include complaints of bullying or harrassment)
|A physical act e.g., a physical display of anger (This may include complaints of bullying or harrassment)||
Misusing judicial status, for example to try to influence another person or organisation for personal gain
Misusing social media, for example posting offensive content, or content which could damage public confidence in judicial impartiality such as remarks about government policy
|Failure to report personal involvement in civil, criminal, or professional disciplinary proceedings||
|Delay in issuing a judgment or order (usually considered to be a delay, without a reasonable excuse, of more than three months)||
Complaints about misconduct in a hearing
If you want to complain about something that happened during a hearing, you must also provide us with information about when during the hearing it took place. As well as the relevant details in the table above, we need you to tell us, in as much detail as possible:
The time (or times) during the hearing when the alleged misconduct took place.
For example: “the judge shouted at me ‘Mr Smith be quiet’ at 11.30 a.m.”
If you cannot remember the exact time, give us your best estimate. For example:
Please try to provide a time estimate for every instance of alleged misconduct that you are making a complaint about: for example, if your complaint is that the judge shouted at you on three occasions, you should provide three time estimates of when those incidents occurred.
If you believe that there are exceptional reasons why you are unable to provide time estimates for the allegations, for example due to a disability, please provide this information along with your complaint. We will take this information into account when assessing your complaint.
Our caseworkers will usually listen to a one-hour ‘window’ of time based on the estimate you have given, for example, if you stated: “the judge shouted at me ‘Mr Smith be quiet’ at approximately 10.00 am, the caseworker would listen to the recording from 9.30-10.30 am or if, for example, you stated: “the judge shouted at me ‘Mr Smith’ approximately half an hour before the lunch break, the caseworker would listen to the recording for one hour up until the lunchbreak.
It is, therefore, important to be as accurate as possible when you give us this information. We will consider accepting a complaint without this information only if there are exceptional reasons as to why you cannot do so.
Information from other people/third parties
If you believe that there is anyone else who might have evidence relevant to your complaint e.g., anyone who was present when the alleged misconduct took place, please let us know in your complaint. This is not essential but may help us to assess your complaint.
Guidance on how to view and upload portal comments, the JCIO's communication method on this platform, can be found - here.
If you are experiencing any issues with our online portal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.General enquiries
If you wish to make a general enquiry, email email@example.com. Please note that complaints sent to this mailbox will not be responded to.