The definition of personal conduct covers a wide range of behaviour and circumstances both inside, and outside of, the court environment. It is not, therefore, possible to provide a definitive list of what is, or is not, personal misconduct.

Some examples of the type of things we can and cannot investigate are shown below:

We can investigate

  • The use of racist, sexist or offensive language
  • Falling asleep in court
  • General rudeness
  • Misusing judicial status for personal gain or advantage
  • Criminal convictions
  • Failure to declare a potential conflict of interest

We cannot investigate

  • A judgement, verdict or order
  • Sentencing decisions
  • What evidence should be, or has been, considered
  • The award of costs and damages
  • Whose attendance is required at court
  • Who should be allowed to participate in a hearing
  • Recusal - whether a particular judge should preside over a case or hearing
  • Allegations of criminal activity for example, perverting the course of justice (criminal allegations should be directed to the police)

Please be aware that we can only investigate complaints about matters of personal conduct. We cannot consider complaints about judicial decisions or judicial case management, which can only be challenged through the courts.

The principle of judicial independence means that we are not able to intervene in, or influence the outcome of, a case or proceedings before the courts. If your complaint to us is upheld, it will not have any bearing on the progress or outcome of any associated case before the courts. If you believe that a finding by the JCIO may have implications for proceedings in which you are involved, we would advise you to seek independent legal advice.