Magistrates complaint policy

The Magistrates Complaints Policy and procedure offers a process for bringing complaints about the judicial conduct of magistrates in Queensland to the attention of the Chief Magistrate and, if appropriate, the magistrate or judicial registrar concerned.

What this policy covers

Before making a complaint about a magistrate or judicial registrar, read the Magistrates Complaint Policy (PDF, 289.4 KB) to help you decide whether you have a complaint, about whom and your rights in relation to making a complaint.

This policy covers complaints about two types of conduct of magistrates (including acting magistrates) and judicial registrars of Queensland:

  • judicial conduct
  • delays in the delivery of reserved judgments.

This policy does not provide a mechanism for dealing with complaints about:

  • the result of a case, or a magistrate’s decision -decisions can be reviewed on appeal
  • judicial officers of the Supreme, District or Land Court
  • Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) members
  • judicial officers of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
  • parties to a matter or their legal representatives
  • police officers
  • Magistrates Court Service staff
  • your visit to a courthouse.

The Chief Magistrate of Queensland has administrative responsibility for the Magistrates Court. However, due to the principle of judicial independence observed in Australian Courts the Chief Magistrate is not able to direct, influence or seek to direct or influence judicial officers as to how to conduct or decide matters that come before them. The Chief Magistrate has no power to review decisions of magistrates or remove magistrates. If your complaint is in relation to these issues you should seek legal advice.

How to make a complaint

Please ensure your complaint is about:

1. the conduct of a magistrate in court or in connection with a case in the Magistrates Court

2. the performance of a magistrate’s judicial function

If your complaint meets the above criteria, you can make a complaint by:

Include the following information:

  • your full name
  • postal address
  • contact telephone number
  • case name and file number (if applicable)
  • the magistrates court location
  • details of the relevant events
  • any evidence that supports your complaint
  • whether you have reported your complaint to anyone else
  • action you would like to see as a result of your complaint.

Acknowledgment of complaints

The Office of the Chief Magistrate usually acknowledges receipt of complaints about judicial conduct within 7 working days.

The Chief Magistrate generally provides a considered response to complaints about judicial conduct within 20 working days of receiving the complaint.

If it is not possible to respond within that time, you will receive a letter outlining the reason for the delay.