Download PDF 189KB How can I make a complaint? You can send your written complaint by post or email. Generally complaints should be addressed to: Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar GPO Box 9991, Melbourne Vic 3001 Email: email@example.com You will need to include the following details with your complaint: Your full name Postal address Contact telephone number Case name and file number (if applicable). Complaints about delays in delivery of reserved judgments and the conduct of judicial officers should be addressed to the Chief Justice or Chief Judge (see ‘Delay in delivery of reserved judgments’ and ‘Judicial conduct’ below). The Court will acknowledge your complaint The Court will generally acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and will endeavour to provide a formal response within 20 working days. Types of complaints Administrative issues You may make a complaint about the services delivered by registry staff and other administrative staff of the Court. Such complaints are generally referred to the manager of the registry in which the complaint arose. Judicial decisions and conduct of proceedings If your complaint relates to the decision of a judicial officer or the conduct of proceedings, this is not a matter that the Chief Justice/Chief Judge or the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Registrar can investigate. Allegations of errors by a judicial officer in the conduct of proceedings, the evidence relied upon or decisions made can only be determined by way of the formal appeal process (for judges) or the review process (for Registrars). There are time limits for the filing of an appeal or review. The Court’s website has information on appeal processes and review process. You may wish to seek legal advice to determine whether appealing the decision in your case is appropriate. Court staff cannot provide legal advice. Judicial conduct The Court has a judicial complaints policy which establishes procedures for the handling of complaints about judicial conduct. Complaints relating to judicial conduct should be addressed to: Chief Justice Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts 305 William Street Melbourne Vic 3000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Delay in delivery of reserved judgments The Court's judicial complaints policy also establishes a protocol relating to the delivery of reserved judgments. The protocol is designed to ensure that decisions are handed down, and reasons are given, as expeditiously as possible. The benchmark for the handing down of reserved judgments is within three months of the hearing or receipt of written submissions. Complaints relating to the delivery of reserved judgments should be addressed to the Chief Justice/Chief Judge, whose details are provided below, or to the President of the appropriate State or Territory Law Society/Institute or Bar Association. Chief Justice Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts 305 William Street Melbourne Vic 3000 Email: email@example.com Complaints in pending proceedings Generally, it will not be appropriate for the Court to investigate complaints about the conduct of pending proceedings. In most cases it will be appropriate for you to raise your complaint in court when your matter is next listed for hearing. Child abuse If you believe a child is at risk or has been abused, you should report it to the relevant welfare authority in your state or territory. Unlike welfare authorities, the Court does not have the power to investigate abuse. Complaints about court child experts Court Children’s Services (CCS) is responsible for overseeing the work of court child experts. Assessments undertaken by court child experts form part of the evidence presented in court proceedings. If you are concerned about the conduct of a court child expert, or the report or memorandum they have provided to the Court, the appropriate forum for raising this is within the proceedings. If your complaint is in regards to a Family Report then the mechanism for doing this is by cross-examination of the court child expert. This is where you, or your lawyer (if you have one) ask the court child expert questions about the contents of the report and their assessment of your family. If your complaint is in relation to a Memorandum to Court, prepared for an interim court event, then you (or your lawyer) are still able to raise your concerns within the proceedings. If you wish to cross-examine the court child expert who prepared your report, you (or your lawyer if you have one) must write to the court child expert at least 14 days before the hearing in order to ensure they are available. If you are seeking to have the court child expert assigned to your case replaced with a new court child expert, this can only be done by applying to the Court within the current court proceedings. You should seek legal advice about this. Court staff cannot provide legal advice, however procedural advice may be obtained by contacting the Court on Live Chat, by calling 1300 352 000, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints about court child experts, or the assessment they have conducted, cannot be investigated nor brought to the attention of the court child expert while the matter is currently before the Court. This is because the court child expert is an expert witness and doing so could be considered to be interfering with a witness in a matter. Complaints should be made by email to email@example.com. Complaints about a court child expert will be directed to a senior CCS staff member for review. The senior officer reviewing your complaint will provide you with a written response. Court child experts work within a clinical governance framework, are subject to quality assurance mechanisms and are required to participate in regular professional development and supervision. Feedback by way of complaints can assist CCS in ensuring the ongoing quality of its service. Lawyers, Independent Children’s Lawyers, and legal costs You may bring to Court’s attention issues relating to the conduct of another party’s lawyer or an independent children’s lawyer only if the conduct has adversely affected your current case. The Court cannot deal with such complaints after final determination of your matter. If you have a complaint about the conduct of your lawyer, about a bill you have received from your lawyer, or about the conduct of another lawyer, including an Independent Children’s Lawyer, that does not relate to current proceedings before the Court, you should contact the relevant body in your state or territory – see below for contact details. In relation to complaints about Independent Children’s Lawyers, you may wish to also notify the relevant state or territory legal aid body responsible for appointment of the Independent Children’s Lawyer in your matter. Note – it is a good idea to first try and resolve any issues directly with the lawyer before making a formal complaint. Australian Capital Territory Level 4, 1 Farrell Place Canberra ACT 2601 DX 5623 CANBERRA Phone: 02 6274 0300 Website: www.actlawsociety.asn.au New South Wales Office of the Legal Services Commissioner Level 9, 75 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: 02 9377 1800 or 1800 242 958 Fax: 02 9377 1888 Website: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/olsc Northern Territory Law Society of the NT PO Box 2388 Darwin NT 0801 Phone: 08 8981 5104 Fax: 08 8941 1623 Website: lawsocietynt.asn.au Queensland Legal Services Commission Level 30, 400 George Street Brisbane Qld 4000 Phone: 07 3564 7726 Outside Brisbane: 1300 655 754 Fax: 07 3564 7700 Website: www.lsc.qld.gov.au South Australia Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner Physical location Level 10, 30 Currie Street Adelaide SA 5000 Postal address GPO Box 230 Adelaide SA 5001 Phone: 08 8212 7924 or 1800 337 570 (free call) Fax: 08 8231 0747 Website: www.lpcc.sa.gov.au Tasmania Law Society of Tasmania 28 Murray Street Hobart TAS 7000 Phone: 03 6234 4133 Fax: 03 6223 8240 Website: https://lst.org.au Victoria Victorian Legal Services Board & Commissioner Level 5, 555 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000 Phone: 03 9679 8001 Fax: 03 9679 8101 Website: www.Isbc.vic.gov.au Western Australia Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee Level 6, 111 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000 Phone: 08 6211 3699 Fax: 08 6211 3650 Website: www.lpbwa.org.au Vexatious complaints and complainant misconduct The Court may not respond to your complaint if it is vexatious, repetitive or lacks substance. The Court has no power to investigate allegations of corruption or criminality. If a complaint raises issues which have already been responded to then no further response will be provided.