The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) are an independent office which supports the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice in considering complaints about the personal conduct of judicial office holders.
It was established in 2006, following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which reformed the way in which judges are appointed, disciplined and removed from office.
This issue was raised on the 21st March 2023 and 3rd March 2023 with the President of the Family Division (PFD) Sir Andrew McFarlane (Head of Family Justice). A response has not yet been forthcoming.
A failure of the PFD to investigate or take any action, will unfortunately result in a complaint about the PFD’s professional conduct to the JCIO.
Rules and Regulations
The 2014 Judicial Discipline Regulations and supporting rules came into effect from 18 August 2014
- The Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations 2014
- Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014
- Judicial Conduct (Judicial) Rules 2014
- Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) Rules 2014
- Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) (Amendment of Offices) Rules 2017
- Supplementary Guidance – The Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014
- Supplementary Guidance – The Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014
- Supplementary Guidance – The Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) Rules 2014
- Employment Tribunal (Scotland) – Making a complaint of Judicial Misconduct about an Employment Judge
How to Complain
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office can only deal with complaints about the personal conduct of judicial office holders. This means that they cannot accept complaints about a judge’s decision or the way a judge has managed a case.
Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) – 2004
Before the establishment of the JCIO, the responsibility for investigating complaints against judges rested with the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC), which was established in 2004. The OJC was a part of the Ministry of Justice and had the power to investigate complaints made against judges in England and Wales.
However, the OJC was widely criticized for being insufficiently independent and for lacking transparency. In response to these criticisms, the government established the JCIO in 2006 as an independent body to investigate complaints against judges.
Judicial Complaints Investigation Bureau (JCIB) -1991
Before the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) was established in 2004, the responsibility for investigating complaints against judges in England and Wales rested with the Judicial Complaints Investigation Bureau (JCIB), which was created in 1991.
The JCIB was a division of the Lord Chancellor’s Department (which later became the Ministry of Justice), and it was responsible for investigating complaints about the personal conduct of judges. However, the JCIB was criticized for being insufficiently independent and for lacking transparency, particularly following a high-profile case in 1993 involving a judge who was found to have used racist language.
The JCIO is responsible for investigating complaints about the personal conduct of judges, as well as their professional conduct. It has the power to investigate complaints made by members of the public, legal professionals, and other judges.
The JCIO’s investigations are carried out by a team of investigators who are independent of the judiciary.
Overall, the establishment of the JCIO was seen as an important step in ensuring the independence and integrity of the judiciary in England and Wales.
You can check if a a judge has had any disciplinary action against them as Disciplinary statements are published on the JCIO and are sorted by year.
The JCIO publication policy states that a statement will normally be published when a disciplinary sanction has been issued to a judicial office-holder for misconduct.
The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor may decide jointly to:
- issue a statement in any case;
- decline to issue a statement in any case;
- delete a statement prior to the expiration of the relevant publication period.
Statements published before 22 August 2022
Statements about cases which resulted in a sanction below removal from office will be deleted after one year. Statements about cases which resulted in removal from office will be deleted after five years.
Statements published from 22 August 2022
The following publication periods apply to statements published from 22 August 2022. Following the outcome of the 2020-22 review of the disciplinary system, statements now contain more detail. The JCIO privacy notice has been updated to reflect this change.
Sanction Imposed Publication Period Formal Advice Two Years Formal Warning Four Years Reprimand Six Years Removal from Office (except for failure to meet minimum sitting requirements) Indefinite Removal from Office for failure to meet minimum sitting requirements Five years
Requesting a Copy of a Deleted Statement
A copy of any statement which has been deleted following expiration of its publication period can be requested by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Requesters must state the name of the office-holder. It will also help to locate statements if requesters give as much information as possible about the nature of the conduct for which the office-holder received a disciplinary sanction, and the year in which they believe the statement was published.
JCIO aims to reply to all requests for deleted statements within 10 working days.JCIO Publication Policy
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