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If you are dissatisfied with the conduct of a JP and want to make a complaint, it must be made in writing to Appointment Services. Please read the guidelines below to find out more about how to lodge a complaint.
To raise a complaint, it must:
We will assess a complaint before determining whether to accept or decline it.
We will generally accept complaints that raise:
We will generally decline to consider complaints that are:
Please note that we can't become involved in private legal matters or private disputes between a complainant and a JP.
The NSW Police Force is responsible for investigating alleged criminal conduct. There are a range of regulatory bodies that may investigate alleged professional misconduct. If the JP is ultimately convicted of a criminal offence or an adverse finding is made about the JP by a court, tribunal, regulatory agency, complaint handling or dispute resolution body, we may at that time review the person's appointment as a JP.
We will acknowledge your complaint within three business days of receiving it. You will then be notified about whether your complaint has been accepted or declined within three weeks. Finalising a complaint generally takes longer, as we contact the relevant JP and provide them with at least three weeks to respond.
If we accept your complaint, we will likely take one of the following actions:
Please note we are unable to take any other disciplinary action against JPs. This includes compelling a person who is a JP to do or say anything in relation to their personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct (including private legal matters).
Usually, we won't provide details of the outcome of your complaint. This is because any disciplinary action must remain confidential. If a JP is removed from office, their details will be taken off the Public register of JPs
The department's decision about a JP complaint is final, however you can request a review of the decision if you provide new information or evidence relevant to the complaint.
If you feel that we have not handled your complaint about a JP properly, you can contact the NSW Ombudsman about our conduct. The NSW Ombudsman can investigate our conduct as a public authority (they can't investigate JPs as private individuals).
While we can handle a complaint confidentially, this may limit our ability to examine or resolve your concerns. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the issue before taking further action.
If we accept your complaint, the principles of procedural fairness require that we provide the JP with details of the allegation and allow them the opportunity to respond before issuing a warning letter or reviewing the JP’s appointment.
Providing the JP with details of your complaint, even if we withhold your name and contact details, may still enable the JP to identify you as the complainant. For this reason, in most cases we will need your consent to pursue your complaint with the JP.
For more details about lodging a complaint and complaint handling, please read the Guidelines on the appointment of JPs: handling complaints and reviewing appointments. (PDF, 115.8 KB)
Your feedback is important to us. You are welcome to contact us with a suggestion, compliment or a complaint about a NSW JP.
If you would like to make a suggestion or compliment, you can either email or write to Appointment Services.
28 Feb 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.