New background papers released
Two new background papers for the review into judicial impartiality have now been released.
Recusal and self-disqualification (JI2) focuses on the practical matter of how courts manage claims (and the potential for claims) by litigants that the judicial officer deciding their matter is, or might appear to be, biased.
The Federal Judiciary – the Inquiry in Context (JI3) provides an overview of the composition of the federal judiciary; the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth courts; the workload of those courts; and the frequency of complaints against judicial officers (noting that such complaints may not necessarily be in relation to an allegation of impartiality or bias). It also gives a preliminary analysis of information available in judgments over the past five years concerning applications for disqualification on bias grounds.
These background papers are intended to provide a high-level overview of key principles and research on topics of relevance to the Inquiry. While the law on actual and apprehended bias is central to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, the Inquiry will also necessarily consider broader notions of judicial impartiality. Further background papers will be released addressing issues including critiques of the test for apprehended bias, implicit bias in judicial decision-making, and ethical infrastructure for judicial officers.
Next month the ALRC will publish a Consultation Paper containing questions and draft proposals for public comment. A formal call for submissions will be made on its release. Feedback on the background papers is, however, welcome at any point by email to email@example.com.
‘New look’ for ALRC consultation documents
Find out more about the new approach the ALRC has adopted for consultation documentation, encouraging greater engagement with a wider cross-section of academics, the legal profession, and the community.
The Terms of Reference for the Judicial Impartiality Inquiry were issued by the Attorney-General on 11 September 2020.
We look forward to continued engagement with you, our stakeholders, as we progress this important work.