In the last year there have been a total of 19 complaints against judges with four of those complaints lodged in The Avondhu region.
In statistics obtained by this newspaper it was revealed that in the period from start of 2019 to 2020, there have been three in Cork, one in County Limerick, with none recorded in Tipperary or Waterford. There were 5 listed as ‘unknown location’.
During our efforts to find out if local judges attached to the District Court and higher courts such as the Circuit Court have received complaints, we determined each complaint referred to family law cases.
The Freedom of Information officer in the Courts Service ruled that the exact details of these complaints could not be revealed as it would have identified people associated with the hearings.
Family law cases must be held out of the gaze of the general public to protect those taking part.
We also asked how these complaints were resolved, but the Freedom of Information officer deterred that as the judiciary are independent, there is no record of the complaints being resolved.
“The conduct of and decisions made in any court case, is a matter entirely for the presiding judge and it is not open to the Courts Service to comment or intervene in any way in such matters. Therefore the Courts Service is unable to investigate any complaints made about judges…”
The Courts Service could not give this newspaper the results of complaints as there were no complaints investigated to a standard that they could be resolved.
Under the Constitution, judges are independent in the exercise of their judicial functions.
Any decision, finding, judgement or ruling of the courts can only be addressed through the courts.