Business hours contact
For general enquiries please contact (03) 8636 6510.
After hours contact
Please contact the Associate to the Duty Judge for all urgent applications after the Court has risen for the day or during any vacation on 0419 384 312. No general information or advice can be provided by calling this number.
Concerns about a law
Concerns about a law should not be addressed to the Chief Judge or to any other judicial officer. Judges do not make the law, they apply it. Judges must apply the laws in force at the time and only comment when they are deciding a case. Judges need to determine cases according to law, regardless of who is involved. Judges do not comment on government policy. Such concerns should, accordingly, be directed to the Government Minister responsible for the particular subject matter or to your local Member of Parliament.
Concerns about a decision
Our legal system requires judicial officers to be independent of the government. Judges and juries cannot be told how to decide cases or when to hear them. The only way to have a court decision changed is by an appeal to a higher court. Once a case has been determined by a judicial officer, it cannot be reviewed by a higher court unless an appeal is formally lodged.
Complaints about a judge
Judges are accountable through the public nature of their work, the requirement that they give reasons for their decisions and the scrutiny of their decisions on appeal.
Complaints about a Judge must be made in writing and addressed to the Chief Judge. The complaint must be about the language, behaviour or other conduct of a Judge.
A person may not use the complaints process to complain about a decision a Judge has made in court. It is not part of the role of the Chief Judge to review the decisions made by other Judges of the Court. Each Judge of the Court acts independently according to the oath of office taken upon appointment. In taking that oath of office Judges swear to ‘do equal justice to all persons and discharge the duties of their office according to the Law and to the best of their knowledge and ability without fear, favour or affection’.
If a party does not agree with a Judge’s decision or the outcome of a case, the appropriate avenue of redress, should the party choose to pursue it, is to seek a review in the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Parties should seek legal advice about pursuing an appeal.
All complaints about judicial conduct should be made in writing and should identify the name of the case, the date and place where it was heard, and the name of the presiding Judge.
Complaints may be sent to:Chief Judge County Court of Victoria 250 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints about court staff or facilities
The County Court values the feedback it receives through the complaints process as it provides the Court with information to improve the quality of its services.
Complaints may be made in respect of:
- the conduct of administrative, support and registry staff
- processes and procedures
- court facilities.
All complaints made in writing should identify the date, time, place and subject of the complaint. Complaints involving a person should include the name of the person, where possible.
Complaints may be sent to:Court Information Officer County Court of Victoria 250 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Email: email@example.com
Complaints about a lawyer
The Chief Judge and other judicial officers are not able to decide whether lawyers have done the best they can for their clients unless the Legal Services Commissioner brings a case to the court. Complaints about the conduct of legal practitioners should be made to the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner.
If you need legal advice
The Chief Judge and judges of the court cannot become involved in court proceedings other than the case they are hearing. If you disagree with the way in which a court case is going, or with the verdict, you should speak to your lawyer about the options available to you. If you are not able to afford legal assistance, staff of the court's registry will assist by providing you with information about agencies or community based organisations which may be able to assist you.