What We Do

Welcome to the Office of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman (NIJAO).

NIJAO investigates complaints from applicants for judicial appointment in cases of alleged maladministration by the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (the Commission), Committees of the Commission, or by the Lord Chancellor in respect of his role in making recommendations for appointment.

Other responsibilities include:

  • raising awareness and highlighting the strategic direction for the NIJAO among members of the public, the legal profession and other interested groups;
  • liaising with the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman in England and Wales; and
  • producing an annual report on the discharge of his/her functions, which must be laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly.

In investigating a complaint the NIJAO aims to be impartial, accessible and effective within the limits of her authority. In so doing she has a duty of care equally to complainants and those complained about. In the event of maladministration the NIJAO will seek redress and through recommendation and constructive feedback aim to improve standards and practices in the authorities concerned.