COMPLAINTS ABOUT JUDGES
Under certain Rules, complaints can be made within 3 months to the Judicial Office for Scotland about the personal conduct of judges, in or out of court.
- judges of the Court of Session
- judicial members of the Scottish Land Court
- sheriffs principal
- summary sheriffs
- justices of the peace.
The Judicial Office cannot deal with complaints about court decisions made by judges, or the way cases have been handled. The usual way to challenge a decision is to appeal.
If you are considering appealing a judicial decision, it is recommended that you get legal advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Scotland.
To Make a Complaint
If you wish to make a complaint, see the following guidance and contact details.
- Complaints About the Judiciary - Rules
- Complaints Guidance
- Complaints Form
- Complaints Process Map
- Unacceptable Actions Policy
Judicial Office for Scotland
The rules and guidance above provide more detail, but you should note that your complaint must be in writing and clearly state:
- your name and address
- the name of the judge, or sufficient information to identify them
- where appropriate, the court, and the date of the hearing
- specific details about the grounds of the complaint.
You must include copies of all the documents that you have that you are relying on to support your complaint.
Your complaint should be made as soon as possible, but no later than 3 months after the incident your complaint relates to. If the case or appeal is ongoing, the complaint may not be considered until the case has concluded, but you should still make your complaint in time. Extensions are given only in exceptional circumstances.
Reports on complaints
The Judicial Office for Scotland publishes annual statistics regarding the number of complaints received under the Rules. See the reports.
Read the privacy notice for information about how we handle personal data.
Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS)
If you have a complaint regarding court staff, the SCTS, or your role as a juror, please see the SCTS website.
Solicitors or Advocates
All complaints against legal practitioners should be sent to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. They act as a single point of contact and will advise you on the next step. For further information see the Scottish Legal Complaints website.
Read more on the Scottish Government website.