I am unhappy with the service I have received from the court,

what can I do?

 

Introduction

This page explains what to do if you feel unhappy with the service you have received from the court staff or with any procedural aspect of your case.

However, you cannot use the process set out if you want to complain because you think:

  • The decision in your case was unfair

  • The judge's / justice's personal behaviour was unacceptable.

If you do not agree with the decision a judge / justice has made, the only option you may have is to appeal against that decision. Court staff can give you more information and any forms you may need, but they cannot advise you on whether you should appeal or have the right to appeal. You are strongly urged to get advice from a legal practitioner before appealing.

If you want to complain about the way the judge / justice behaved towards you (not the way they handled the case or that the decision went against you), you can write to the Chief Justice, who is the head of the Judiciary for the Falkland Islands. You may write to him care of the court at the Town Hall, Stanley.

Your letter should include:

  • Your name and address

  • Your case/application number

  • The date of your hearing/appointment and the name of the Judge or Justice(s) involved

  • Your reason for making the complaint

If you are dissatisfied with another organisation, for example the prosecution or your legal practitioner, you cannot use this procedure. You should write to their organisation directly.

 

How do I make a complaint?

In the first instance, you should speak to a member of court staff who will try and sort out your problem there and then.

If you prefer to complain in writing you can write to the Head of Courts and Tribunals Service at:

Courts and Tribunals Service

Town Hall

Ross Road

Stanley

Falkland Islands

FIQQ 1ZZ

You will receive an acknowledgement of your complaint within 5 working days. The Head of Courts and Tribunals Service will then investigate your complaint.

Within 10 working days you should receive a reply. The reply will:

  • Set out your complaint so that you can be sure we have understood it;

  • Describe the events and circumstances surrounding it;

  • Say whether or not the court staff have made a mistake; and

  • Give a reason for this decision.

If the investigation cannot take place within 10 working days you will receive a letter giving you a proposed timescale for dealing with the matter.

 

What if I am not satisfied with the reply?

Most problems can be resolved by the Head of Courts and Tribunals Service, but if you remain unhappy you can write to the Director of Central Services, who oversees the administration of the court. You can obtain their address from the court.

In your letter you should explain that you have complained to the Head of Courts and Tribunals Service and say why you are not satisfied with their reply. The Director of Central Services will review the matter to determine if the correct steps were taken and ensure that the evidence supports the outcome of the initial investigation. You should receive a response to your letter within 10 working days.

 

What if my complaint is about a Head of Department or Director?

All complaints about a Head of Department or Director should be made in writing to the Chief Executive, whose address can be provided by the court. You will receive an acknowledgment of your letter within 5 working days. Within 10 working days you should receive a reply, either outlining the conclusions of the investigation or alternatively indicating a timescale in which they will provide a reply

 

Is there anyone else I can ask to investigate my complaint?

We treat all complaints fairly, but if you are not satisfied with the way we handled your complaint you may be able to ask the Complaints Commissioner to investigate it.

In order to complain to the Complaints Commissioner you must put your complaint in writing and deliver it to a Member of the Legislative Assembly.