Our Policy on Complaints
The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) is committed to providing high quality services to service users. We welcome comments on the quality of the services we deliver and suggestions on how we can improve our services. NICTS staff will always seek to act according to the principles of fairness, honesty, integrity and respect. We expect that if you wish to make a complaint you will also uphold these principles and remain factual and respectful. NICTS will not respond to complaints which are abusive in nature, make unfounded allegations against staff or make repeated requests that, whether intended or not, only serve to burden the Agency.
The time limit for submitting a complaint is six months from the date of the incident. We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to make a complaint within the time limit. These applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
How to make a complaint
- Provide your name and address
- Explain clearly what you are complaining about
- Give as much detail as possible about the complaint including dates, case reference numbers, particular events and names of staff you spoke to at the time
Please email your complaint to: Complaints@courtsni.gov.ukPostal Address Central Management Team Laganside House 23-27 Oxford Street Belfast BT1 3LA
We will respond to all complaints within the timescales detailed in the process below. Our response to your complaint will be provided in written format via email or post. If you require a response in an alternative format you can request this by using the contact details above.
All complaints will be acknowledged within 3 working days. The acknowledgement will inform you when you should expect to receive a response to your complaint.
If the complaint has been made verbally you may be asked to document the complaint in writing, or by email, to the contact details above.
The complaint will be passed to the relevant part of the NICTS who will review it and prepare a response.
We will issue a response to the complaint within 15 working days of receipt of the complaint. This is known as Stage 1 of the complaints process.
At this stage, if you are unhappy with the response, the complaint can be escalated for a further review overseen by a member of the NICTS Senior Management Team.
We will issue you with the outcome of this review within 15 working days of receipt of the escalation. This is known as Stage 2 of the complaints process.
If you still remain unsatisfied with the response following this second stage then you can raise the complaint with the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO). You can refer your case to NIPSO in the following ways:
To submit an online complaint form, please visit the NIPSO website complaints section here (external link).
In writing:NIPSO Freepost BEL 1478 Belfast BT1 6BR
By email: email@example.com
By telephone: 028 9023 3821 (or Free phone 0800 343424)
Text Phone: 028 9089 7789
In person at:Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman Progressive House 33 Wellington Place Belfast BT1 6HN
NIPSO provides a free and independent service. It is expected that you will have exhausted the full extent of the Department’s complaints procedure before your case would be considered.
How we will handle your information
We will only use the personal information you provide to administer your complaint and to provide the services you have requested from us. The information you provide will also help us improve the services we provide.
The types of data that we collect are only those details necessary for the investigation of your complaint.
When our procedures do not apply
NICTS does not have the authority to deal with the types of complaints listed below;
You cannot use our procedure if your complaint is about a judicial decision, even if you feel the decision is not correct. In these circumstances you should get legal advice as soon as possible.
If you have a complaint about the way a member of the judiciary has behaved towards you (not the way that they have handled the case nor if the decision went against you) you should contact:The Complaints Officer Office of the Lord Chief Justice Royal Courts of Justice Chichester Street Belfast BT1 3JF
Telephone: 0300 200 7812
Complaints about tribunal members are determined by the President of the Tribunal, however, the Lord Chief Justice may determine certain complaints about tribunal members.
If you have a complaint about a barrister you should contact The Secretary of the Professional Conduct Committee:The Bar Library 91 Chichester Street Belfast BT1 3JQ
Website: www.barlibrary.com (external link).
SolicitorsIf you have a complaint about a solicitor you should contact: The Law Society of Northern Ireland Law Society House 96 Victoria Street Belfast BT1 3GN
Telephone: 028 9023 1614
Website www.lawsoc-ni.org (external link).
Public Prosecution Service
If you have a complaint about the Public Prosecution Service you should contact:Public Prosecution Service Community Liaison Public Prosecution Service Belfast Chambers 93 Chichester Street Belfast BT1 3JR
Telephone: 028 9089 7070
Fax: 028 9089 7069
Website: www.ppsni.gov.uk (external link).