About us

We investigate the handling of complaints about the judicial appointments process, and the handling of complaints involving judicial discipline or conduct.

Important notice: COVID-19 pandemic

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman’s office will not be staffed during the current COVID-19 crisis. The best way to contact the office during this period is by email as we unable to answer telephone calls to the office or process complaints received through the post until further notice. We are sorry that the closure will impact on the time taken to consider cases and respond to correspondence. We hope that the office will be able to re-open as soon as possible.

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Who we are

We are a team of 8, including the ombudsman, based in London.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities fall into 2 distinct categories.

For judicial appointment complaints, we are responsible for:

  • making suggestions to the Lord Chancellor and the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) on how to proceed when a complaint has been upheld
  • recommending changes to procedure in order to prevent the same issues from happening again
  • proposing that compensation be paid if we believe a complainant has suffered because of any maladministration (ie mismanagement)

For judicial conduct complaints, we are responsible for:

  • asking the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, a tribunal president, or magistrates’ advisory committee to re-investigate a complaint where appropriate
  • asking disciplinary panels to examine complaints
  • recommending changes to procedure in order to prevent the same issue from happening again
  • proposing that compensation be paid if we believe that a complainant has suffered because of maladministration

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