Without Fear or Favour: Judicial Impartiality and the Law on Bias (ALRC Report 138)

The Australian Law Reform Commission report, Without Fear or Favour: Judicial Impartiality and the Law on Bias (ALRC Report 138), was tabled in Parliament by the Attorney-General of Australia, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC on 2 August 2022.

The ALRC made 14 recommendations to promote and protect judicial impartiality and public confidence in the Commonwealth judiciary, including:

  • reforms to the procedures Commonwealth judges use to determine whether they should withdraw from a case when a party raises a potential issue of bias;
  • publishing guidance on how litigants should raise issues of bias with a judge and how such issues are decided;
  • establishing a Federal Judicial Commission as an additional and accessible oversight mechanism to support litigant and public confidence in judicial impartiality; and
  • strengthening institutional structures to support judges and address systemic biases, including through changes to appointment procedures, judicial education, and collection of court user feedback and case data in the Commonwealth courts.

Download the Summary Report.

Download the Final Report.

Hard copy versions of the report are also available to purchase.

Further resources are available as part of the ALRC’s data analysis for the Review of Judicial Impartiality.