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.

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. 

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.uk 

Postal 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: nipso@nipso.org.uk

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.

For further details of the Department's Privacy Notice visit NICTS/Privacy Policy Notice

When our procedures do not apply

NICTS 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 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

Email: JudicialComplaints@judiciaryni.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 (external link). 

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

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

Email: complaints@ppsni.gsi.gov.uk

Website: www.ppsni.gov.uk (external link). 

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