Conceptions of Judicial Impartiality in Theory and Practice (JI4)

This background paper provides an overview of scholarship and commentary on judicial impartiality, summarising the common conceptual understandings of judicial impartiality and the interactions of these conceptions with the practical exercise of judgecraft in Australia. It forms the basis for understanding some of the underlying tensions raised in a series of background papers that explore current doctrinal and procedural challenges relating to the law on bias in Australia.

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