Guidance

Judicial conduct: complain to the ombudsman

How to apply to the ombudsman if you made a complaint about a judge or another judicial officer, and think it wasn't dealt with properly.

You can use the ombudsman if you are not happy with the way a complaint about a judge, magistrate, tribunal member or coroner was handled.

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman can look into the case if you made the complaint, or if someone complained about you.

The ombudsman can only help if the complaint has already been considered by the:

  • Judicial Conduct Investigations Office
  • tribunal president
  • magistrates’ advisory committee

Make sure you write to the ombudsman within 28 days of getting the final decision about the original complaint.

How to complain to the ombudsman

To take your case to the ombudsman, fill in the JACO conduct complaint form.

You will need to clearly explain what the JCIO, tribunal president or advisory committee did wrong.

You can return this by email, or send it to:

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman
9th Floor
The Tower
102 Petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ

headofoffice@jaco.gsi.gov.uk
Phone: 020 3334 2900
Fax: 020 3334 2913

After you complain to the ombudsman

The ombudsman will let you know within 5 days if they can deal with your case.

They may ask you for more details of your complaint, and what you would like to happen to put things right.

You will get a letter or report at the end of the investigation with the ombudsman’s decision.

What the ombudsman can decide

The ombudsman can uphold or dismiss your complaint.

They can recommend:

  • an apology or compensation for any loss you have suffered
  • changes to the judicial complaint process

They can also set aside a decision if there were problems with any disciplinary action, and ask for it to be looked at again.

The ombudsman cannot:

  • reopen a court or tribunal case, or review a judge’s decision
  • reprimand the office holder, or remove them from office
  • force anyone to pay compensation

The ombudsman’s decision is final, and you cannot appeal against it.

Published 27 June 2014