We can only deal with complaints about the personal conduct of judicial office holders. This means that we cannot accept complaints about a judge’s decision or the way a judge has managed a caseComplaints which fall outside our remit will be rejected.

If you believe the way that a judge has handled a hearing or a judge’s decision was unfair, you might be able to appeal to a higher court. The JCIO is unable to intervene in court cases. We would suggest seeking advice about your options from a solicitor, law centre or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

We can investigate

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

We cannot investigate

  • A judge’s decision or order
  • Bias in a judge’s decision-making
  • A judge allowing one party to speak for longer than another
  • A judge refusing to allow a witness to give evidence or admit certain documents
  • A judge appearing to react more favourably to one person’s evidence than another’s
  • A judge saying that he or she does not believe a person’s evidence, questioning a person’s credibility or criticising a person’s actions
  • A judge making an error of law or procedure
  • A judge expressing opinions about issues related to a case they are hearing
  • A judge's body language, facial expressions or how a judge has looked at a party
  • The amount of costs or damages awarded by a judge
  • A judge not reading documents before a hearing
  • A judge refusing to transfer a case to a different judge or court
  • A judge reserving a case to themselves
  • A judge refusing to correspond with a party about a case
  • Fraud or any other criminal offence
  • Court staff, court bailiffs or the facilities and services provided by courts
  • Other bodies such as the Police or Crown Prosecution Service
  • Solicitors and Barristers