Feedback about JPs              

You are welcome to provide feedback to us about a current NSW JP. Feedback can be a suggestion, a compliment or a complaint about a JP.

How should I provide my feedback about a JP?

If you wish to make a complaint about a JP, it must be made in writing to the JP Section.

If you wish to make a suggestion or a compliment, you can either put it in writing, or call the JP Infoline on (02) 8688 7487.

What can I complain about?

We focus on complaints that raise:

  • matters concerning the eligibility of the JP to continue to hold the office; and
  • conduct relating to the role and obligations of a JP when providing JP services.

We will generally decline to consider complaints that are:

  • about a JP’s personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct (including private legal matters) where they are unrelated to the provision of JP services, and/or
  • of a nature that may appropriately be reported to an investigatory or regulatory agency or similar authority.

It is not our role to investigate personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct of a JP. The NSW Police Force is responsible for investigating alleged criminal conduct. There are a range of regulatory bodies that may investigate alleged professional misconduct. If the JP is ultimately convicted of a criminal offence or an adverse finding is made about the JP by a court, tribunal, regulatory agency, complaint handling or dispute resolution body, we may at that time review the person’s appointment as a JP.

Please note that we cannot become involved in private legal matters or private disputes between a complainant and a JP.

When can I expect a response to my complaint about a JP?

We will acknowledge your complaint within three business days of receiving it.

We will provide a response, to advise whether or not your complaint has been accepted, within three weeks of receiving it.

Finalising a complaint about a JP will generally take longer. This is because we generally need to write to the JP, and provide him or her with at least three weeks to respond.

What can I expect to achieve from making a complaint about a JP?

If we accept your complaint, our response will generally fall into one of the following categories:

  1. recording the complaint but determining not to take further action at the present time, or
  2. issuing a reminder letter to the JP about correct procedure, or
  3. issuing a warning letter to the JP that a further breach may result in the review of his or her appointment, or
  4. reviewing the JP’s appointment. Following a review of a person’s appointment, the Attorney General may recommend to the Governor that the person be removed from office as a JP.

Please note it is not our role to take any other punitive action against people who are JPs.

We are also unable to compel a person who is a JP to do or say anything in relation to their personal behaviour, private dealings or professional conduct (including private legal matters).

We do not generally provide you with details of the outcome of your complaint. This is because, where disciplinary matters against a JP may be involved, those generally remain confidential. If a JP is removed from office by the Governor, the appropriate place for that information to be conveyed publicly is on the public register of current JPs.

How will you protect my privacy or the confidentiality of my complaint?

While we can handle a complaint confidentially, this may limit our ability to examine or resolve your concerns. If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss the issue, before taking further action.

If we accept your complaint, the principles of procedural fairness require that, before issuing a warning letter or reviewing the JP’s appointment, we provide the JP with details of the allegation against him or her, and allow him or her the opportunity to respond to us.

Providing the JP with any details of your complaint, even if we withhold your name and contact details, may still enable the JP to identify you as the complainant. For this reason, in most cases we will need your consent to pursue your complaint with the JP.

What if I am dissatisfied with the handling of my complaint about a JP?

Our decision about a JP complaint is final. You may request a review of our decision if you provide new information or evidence relevant to that complaint.

If you consider that we have not handled your complaint about a JP properly, you can complain about our conduct to the NSW Ombudsman. While the NSW Ombudsman can investigate our conduct as a public authority, it cannot investigate JPs as private individuals.

What is your policy on complaints about JPs?

The Attorney General has issued Guidelines on the appointment of JPs: handling complaints and reviewing appointments.