This background paper 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.
This is one in a series of background papers produced by the Australian Law Reform Commission as part of its Review of Judicial Impartiality.
In April 2021, 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. In addition, feedback on the background papers is welcome at any time by email to email@example.com.