NICTS complaints and policy procedures

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service is committed to improving its quality of service to all court users. By making comments about our services you enable us to improve them. By making a complaint you enable us to put things right.

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service is committed to improving its quality of service to all court users.

Making a complaint about  the Northern Ireland Courts  and Tribunals Service.

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service is committed to improving its quality of service to all customers. By making comments about our services you enable us to improve them. By making a complaint you enable us to put things right.

We welcome complaints about any aspect of our services that you do not think is acceptable. You can also complain about our facilities in courthouses if you don’t think they are up to standard. The minimum standard of service that you can expect is outlined in our Customer Service Standards on page nine.

You can fill out a complaints form or a comment card both of which are available at information points and waiting areas in all court offices.

There are some complaints the Courts and Tribunals Service does not have the authority to deal with.

How to make a complaint

When making 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.

Step one

If you are not happy with our services talk to an appropriate member of staff or put your complaint in writing to the courthouse.

• They will try and resolve the problem.

• If your complaint cannot be resolved immediately you will receive a response within 15 working days.

Step two

If you are not happy with the response to your complaint, you can contact  a more senior manager.

Step three

If you still feel that your complaint has not been adequately dealt with you can contact the complaints co-ordinator using the below e-mail address;

Email: Complaints@courtsni.gov.uk

Step four

At this stage if you remain unhappy  with how the Courts and Tribunals Service has handled your complaint you can contact  the Northern Ireland Ombudsman, however, your complaint must be referred to the Ombudsman by a Member of The Assembly (MLA).

The Northern Ireland Ombudsman is independent of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive.

If you need more information regarding the

Ombudsman you can contact:

The Ombudsman
Freepost BEL 1478
Belfast  BT1 6BR

Tel: 0800 34 34 24 Freephone number

Email ombudsman@ni-ombudsman.org.uk

Website www.ni-ombudsman.org.uk

When our procedures do not apply

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service does not have the authority to deal with the types of complaints listed below:

Judicial Decisions

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.

Judicial Conduct

If you have a complaint about the way a member of the judiciary has behaved towards you (not

the way they handled the case nor if the decision went against you) you should contact:

The Complaints Officer
Lord Chief Justice’s Office
Royal Courts of Justice
Chichester Street
Belfast  BT1 3JF
Tel: 0300 200 7812

Email JudicialComplaints@courtsni.gov.uk

Tribunal Members

Complaints about tribunal members are determined by the President of the Tribunal, however, the Lord Chief Justice may determine certain complaints about tribunal members.

Barristers

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

Solicitors

If 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

Tel: 028 9023 1614

Website www.lawsoc-ni.org

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

Tel: 028 9089 7070

Fax: 028 9089 7069

Email complaints@ppsni.gsi.gov.uk

Website www.ppsni.gov.uk

If you would like independent advice in relation to making a complaint you can obtain information at www.citizenadvice.co.uk

Alternatively, you can consult the telephone directory for the contact details of your local branch.

Customer Service Standards

•  When you phone a court office you can expect your call to be answered within 30 seconds, to be given the name of the court official and the court official to be clear and helpful.

•  When you write to or e-mail a court office you can expect an acknowledgment to your query. A written reply will be sent within 15 working days and you will be given the name and contact details of the member of staff dealing with your query and we will include your reference details if supplied.

•  When you come to court you can expect the court building to be open by 9.00am,the public counter to be open normally from 9.30am to 4.30pm, staff to be polite and helpful and clear signage to be in place.

•  At public counters you will be attended to within 10 minutes. If this is not possible an explanation will be given for the delay.

In addition to the above service standards you can also expect that –

Information desk

•  An information/reception desk will be attended from 9.30am daily at all main court venues.

•  Court lists will be displayed from 9.30am daily. You should note that cases are not always called in the order they appear on the list. If you need any information about your case at any time please contact a court official who will help you.

•  View some court lists here.

•  When you go to the public counter we will respect your privacy and discuss any confidential business in private.

•  If you require information, or are to meet someone when you arrive at court, you can get help from the reception/information desk or a court official.

Facilities

•  Refreshment and toilet facilities will be available at all main court venues.

•  Waiting areas will be clean, heated, well lit and comfortable.

•  Consultation facilities can be made available should you need to discuss confidential business in private.

•  Please ask at the reception/information desk.

•  If you have a particular need in relation to your attendance at court or if you have a disability arrangements can be made to assist you. Please ask at reception for the Customer Service Officer, the Disability Liaison Officer or contact the court office in advance.

 

 

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