Solicitors Qualifying Examination

The judiciary and judicial biasThe key principle to understand for the SQE for this topic is the principle of judicialindependence. This entails unbiased and impartial decision making.

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The judiciary and judicial biasThe key principle to understand for the SQE for this topic is the principle of judicialindependence. This entails unbiased and impartial decision making.A court upon appeal will find a lower court’s judgment to be ​unlawful if the judge wasbias​. A court will find this to be the case if there was either ​‘actual’ or ‘apparent’ bias​.This is an extension of the principle that justice must not only ​be done but also be seento be done​. Another way to put it is that ​no judge “may be a judge in his or her owncause”​.I did have to raise this issue once on behalf of a client, and ask the judge to recusethemselves, that is, stand down, because of a real possibility of bias. So it is a pointwhich may come up in your practice as a solicitor.This principle is also an extension of the ​human right to a fair trial​. This guarantees afair trial where there is a criminal charge or civil rights and obligations are engaged.Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees that ​“everyone isentitled to a fair and ​public hearing​ within a ​reasonable time​ by an independent andimpartial tribunal established by law”​…

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