This form must be used if you want to make a complaint about the conduct of a judge that is alleged to constitute judicial misconduct.
The following information is intended to assist you before completing the complaint form. More detailed information is available on the Judicial Council’s website, judicialcouncil.ie, or on request.
Who may make a complaint?
A complaint may only be made
- by a person who is directly affected by the alleged misconduct of a judge or,
- by a person who witnessed the alleged misconduct of a judge.
This person is referred to as a Complainant. Where you make the complaint on your own behalf, complete Part 1A.
A complaint may be made on behalf of a Complainant by another person only in the following circumstances:
- where a Complainant is aged under 18 years, by a parent or guardian;
- where a Complainant is unable to make the complaint himself or herself by reason of a mental or physical incapacity, by a person duly authorised by law to act on behalf of the complainant (in this case evidence of the legal authorisation may be required);
- where a Complainant is a solicitor who is a member of the Law Society, by an authorised officer of the Law Society;
- where a Complainant is a barrister who is a member of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland, by an authorised officer of the General Council.
This person is referred to as the Representative for the purpose of this form. Where you make the complaint as a Representative on behalf of the Complainant, complete Part 1B.
How do you make a complaint?
There are two ways to make a complaint:
- Online through our website, judicialcouncil.ie. Complete the online complaint form and click Submit.
- By post. Complaint forms are available to be downloaded and printed from our website or by contacting the Judicial Council by phone or email. Our phone number is 01 968 3988 and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Complete the complaint form and post it to The Registrar to the Judicial Conduct Committee, The Judicial Council, Green Street Courthouse, Green Street, D07 W568.
A complaint may only be made about a serving judge.
A complaint, even if substantiated, cannot change the outcome of a court case.
The Judicial Council Act 2019 only applies in certain circumstances. Therefore, a complaint cannot be dealt with by the Judicial Council in relation to the following:
- an allegation of misconduct occurring before 3rd October 2022
- if the judge you wish to complain about has retired or for any other reason is no longer a judge
- complaints about persons who are not judges, including Court Officers (e.g. County Registrars, Courts Service staff, Sheriffs) and legal professionals
- complaints received anonymously
There is a time limit of three months to lodge a complaint from the time of the alleged misconduct of the judge. However, this time limit may be extended in certain circumstances.
The staff of the Judicial Council may assist you in accessing the complaint form or with information about the procedures. It is not possible to discuss the circumstances or merits of a complaint with you or to provide you with legal advice.
When your complaint is received, the Registrar to the Judicial Conduct Committee decides whether the Act applies, and if so whether your complaint is admissible (which means whether it may progress to the next stage). The Registrar will also inform the judge concerned about the complaint. The Registrar’s role is independent, and they may only engage with you or the judge in relation to your complaint as provided for in the Judicial Council Act 2019 or under the Judicial Conduct Committee’s Procedures.