Complaints about Court Judiciary

What do I do if I have a complaint?

Based on the Government’s response to coronavirus, the staff of the Judicial Office are working remotely.  As a result, we are unable to answer telephone calls to the office or process postal complaints until further notice.  Any postal complaints received during this period will be dealt with as and when staff are able to return to the office.  Thank you for your patience in the meantime.  Complaints sent by email will be dealt with as normal.

Complaints against Court Judiciary 

The Lord President made rules for the investigation and determination of any matters concerning the conduct of judicial office holders: Complaints About the Judiciary (Scotland) Rules 2017. 

The Judicial Office for Scotland will consider any complaint about the personal conduct of judicial office holders, but cannot deal with complaints about judicial decisions or the way in which cases have been handled.  The usual way to challenge a decision is to appeal.  If you are considering appealing a judicial decision, we would recommend that you obtain legal advice.  You can obtain such advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you wish to complain about the personal conduct of a judicial office holder whether inside or outside of the court, you should write to:

Judicial Office for Scotland
Parliament House
or email:

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 enable the judge to be identified;
  • where appropriate, the court, and the date of the hearing; and
  • specific details about the grounds of your 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 and, in any event, no later than 3 months after the incident that you wish to complain about. If your case or appeal is on-going, your complaint may not be considered until your case has concluded but you should still make your complaint in time. The time limit for making a complaint may be extended only in exceptional circumstances.

Read the privacy notice for information about how we handle personal data.

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service complaints

If you have a complaint regarding the service provided by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service or a member of its staff or your complaint relates to your role as a juror please visit this page and follow the relevant links.

Complaints about solicitors or advocates

All complaints against legal practitioners should be sent to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC).  They act as a gateway or single point of contact and will advise you on what you need to do.  For further information visit the Scottish Legal Complaints website.  

Related FAQs

Q.Can a judge be dismissed, demoted, or promoted?
Q.How do I complain about a judge or a judgment?

View all related FAQs

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is responsible for providing the staff, buildings and technology to support Scotland’s courts, the work of the independent judiciary, the courts’ Rules Councils and the Office of the Public Guardian. The Board of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is chaired by the Lord President. Visit the SCTS website for details of daily court business including court locations, contact numbers, rules, guidance and advice for both professional users and members of the public.

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