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Complaints against lawyers

See: the Legal Help chapter: Legal Profession - Complaints against lawyers.

Complaints against Judges and other judicial officers

Complaints about Judges, Magistrates, and other judicial officers can be made to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner.

The Commissioner is independent from both Government and the Judiciary and is appointed under the Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act 2015 (SA) [s 7].

Complaints must be about the conduct of a judicial officer, and not merely about being unhappy with a decision that they made [Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act 2015 (SA) s 12(1)].

The conduct of a judicial officer that may be the subject of a complaint can include, but is not limited to [s 4(2)]:

  • any act or omission of the judicial officer, whether occurring in the course of carrying out functions as a judicial officer or not; and
  • any act or omission of the judicial officer, whether resulting from an illness or incapacity or not; and
  • any acts of victimisation by the judicial officer.

A judicial officer commits an act of victimisation if they cause detriment to another person on the grounds that the person (or a third party) has made, or intends to make, a complaint to the Commissioner [s 4(3)]. A judicial officer also commits an act of victimisation if they cause detriment to a person on the grounds that the person (or a third party) has provided or intends to provide information or assistance to the Commissioner for the purpose of assisting the Commissioner in conducting a review against a judicial officer [s 4(3)].

Complaints must be in writing and must contain details about who is complained about, who is the person complaining and the matter that the complaint relates to [s 12(5)].

People who have been declared to be vexatious under section 39 of the Supreme Court Act 1935 (SA) are not able to make a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner [s 12(2)].

For further information about what the Judicial Conduct Commissioner can and can not do, and the process of dealing with complaints, visit the Judicial Conduct Commissioner website.

Brouchures are also available on Making a Complaint about a Judicial Officer, and Interpreting Services.

    Complaints against lawyers  :  Last Revised: Fri Jun 27th 2014
    The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.