Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

'Robust' case management and judicial bias

Date:29 JUL 2014
July 2014 has seen several cases reported where the Court of Appeal has had to address the question of apparent bias from judges purporting to exercise their case management or interlocutory functions in a 'robust' way. The Court has had to warn against judges going too far while recognising the fine line that has to be trodden.

The principles governing the test to be applied in cases where it is alleged that a judge has manifested apparent bias are set out in Porter v Magill [2002] AC 357. The House of Lords approved the test to be applied in such cases in the following terms (at para [102] and [103]:

‘The court must first ascertain all the circumstances which have a bearing on the suggestion that the judge was biased. It must then ask whether those circumstances would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility … that the tribunal was biased.’
This reflected the importance of justice 'being seen to be done' and rejected the previous tests of 'reasonable likelihood' and 'real danger' of apparent bias which tended to concentrate on the court’s (actual) assessment...

Read the full article here.