What happens once the Commission receives my complaint?
Having considered your complaint, the Commission must do one of the following:
- dismiss your complaint (for example those that are trivial, vexatious, relate to a person who is no longer a judicial officer or VCAT member, or relate solely to the correctness of a decision);
- if it is a very serious complaint, which if true, warrants removal from office on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity, refer it to an investigating panel for a full investigation; or
- if it is a less serious complaint refer it to the relevant head of jurisdiction with recommendations about the future conduct of the officer concerned.
What happens if my complaint is referred to an investigating panel?
An investigating panel consists of three members appointed by the Commission. Two members being former or current judicial officers or VCAT members and one member being a community member of high standing selected from the pool of people appointed for this purpose.
Having investigated your complaint, the investigating panel must do one of the following:
- dismiss the complaint;
- refer it to the relevant head of jurisdiction with recommendations about the future conduct of the officer concerned; or
- draft a report recommending the officer be removed from office if there is proven misbehaviour or incapacity.
What powers does an investigating panel have?
An investigating panel has a wide range of powers to assist it to investigate a complaint about a judicial officer or VCAT member, such as, holding a hearing, issuing a witness summons and applying for a search warrant.
What happens if my complaint is referred to a head of jurisdiction?
If the Commission refers your complaint to a head of jurisdiction, it will make recommendations about the future conduct of the officer. Once a complaint is referred to a head of jurisdiction, they may take any one or more of the following actions:
- counsel the officer;
- make recommendations to the officer as to future conduct; or
- exercise any other powers that a head of jurisdiction has in relation to the officer concerned.
The head of jurisdiction must provide the Commission with a report stating the outcome of the referral and the reasons for that outcome. You will be provided with a copy of that report.