Apprehended bias and interlocutory judgments

In the current issue of the Sydney Law Review (Volume 35(4)), Anna Olijnyk examines the potential for interlocutory judgments to give rise to an appearance of bias which will disqualify a judge from hearing further matters. The following is the abstract of the article:

 In 2011, the High Court handed down judgments in two cases that raised a similar issue: the risk that an interlocutory judgment can create an appearance of bias on the part of a judge. This issue highlights the tension between, on the one hand, the principle that judges must be, and appear to be, impartial; and, on the other, the changes to the judicial role brought about by the demands of efficiency. This article uses the two cases as a basis for examining the way in which the bias rule currently operates in relation to interlocutory judgments. It concludes that the current approach places undue emphasis on a risk of prejudgment of specific matters, and advocates a widening of focus in the application of the test for apprehended bias.

The full article is available here.

Anna Olijnyk is a Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School.

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