Objective Bias in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Davidson v Scottish Ministers (No 2)
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Jul 2004

    What disqualifies the judge is the presence of some factor which could prevent the bringing of an objective judgment to bear, which could distort the judge's judgment.

    In maintaining the confidence of the parties and the public in the integrity of the judicial process it is necessary that judicial tribunals should be independent and impartial and also that they should appear to be so. The judge must be free of any influence which could prevent the bringing of an objective judgment to bear or which could distort the judge's judgment, and must appear to be so.

  • JSC BTA Bank v Mukhtar Ablyazov (Recusal)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 Nov 2012

    In this connection, it seems to me that the critical consideration is that what the first judge does he does as part and parcel of his judicial assessment of the litigation before him: he is not "pre-judging" by reference to extraneous matters or predilections or preferences. He is not even bringing to this litigation matters from another case (as may properly occur in the situation discussed in Ex parte Lewin, approved in Livesey).

  • Amec Capital Projects Ltd v Whitefriars City Estates Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 28 Oct 2004

    The mere fact that the tribunal has decided the issue before is therefore not enough for apparent bias. There needs to be something of substance to lead the fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there is a real possibility that the tribunal will not bring an open mind and objective judgment to bear. As was said in Locabail, the mere fact that the tribunal had previously commented adversely on a party or found his evidence unreliable would not found a sustainable objection.

  • Director General of Fair Trading v Proprietary Association of Great Britain; Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 Jul 2001

    The Court must first ascertain all the circumstances which have a bearing on the suggestion that the Judge was biased. It must then ask whether those circumstances would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility, or a real danger, the two being the same, that the tribunal was biased.

  • Helow v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Oct 2008

    It makes the point that, before she takes a balanced approach to any information she is given, she will take the trouble to inform herself on all matters that are relevant. She is able to put whatever she has read or seen into its overall social, political or geographical context. She is fair-minded, so she will appreciate that the context forms an important part of the material which she must consider before passing judgment.

  • Janan George Harb v Hrh Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 Jun 2016

    It ensures that there is a measure of detachment in the assessment of whether there is a real possibility of bias: see Helow v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKHL 62, [2008] 1 WLR 2416 at para 2 per Lord Hope. He lacks the objectivity which is the hallmark of the fair-minded observer. Most litigants are likely to oppose anything that they perceive might imperil their prospects of success, even if, when viewed objectively, their perception is not well-founded.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • The European Commission’s Google Shopping decision: Could bias have anything to do with it?
    • Nbr. 26-4, August 2019
    • Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
    Google has been on the radar of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition for some time. Over the last few years, the European Commission has launched competition law investigat...
    ...... reasoning, ho wever, provides an opportunity to test the plausibility of hypothesized bias: if the reason ing is strong, persuasive and objective, bias is either irrelevant (that is, it has not influenced the decision) or unlikely. If reasoning is weak, unpersuasive, or subjective, bias may ......
  • On network externalities, e‐business adoption and information asymmetry
    • Nbr. 107-5, May 2007
    • Industrial Management & Data Systems
    • 728-746
    Purpose: This paper seeks to investigate and provide empirical evidence of the interrelationships among network externalities, e‐business adoption and information asymmetry. Design/methodology/app...
    ......-reported questionnaires, and thus may be subject to self-reporting bias. Futurestudies should use more objective measurements to reduce the ......
  • Information Technology and the Quality Gap
    • Nbr. 16-4, June 1994
    • Employee Relations
    • 22-34
    During 1990, one of the largest service sector companies in the UK was in the process of implementing major change. Top management believed that total quality management (TQM) was an appropriate ve...
    ......This definition centres on baldand ambiguous objectives. TQM, however, implies much more than this andsignals a move away from ...[12,13]),the quality literature remains largely biased towards the objective and realist endof the philosophical spectrum. The ......
  • Crime Prevention and the Future of the Probation Service
    • Nbr. 30-4, December 1983
    • Probation Journal
    Recent expansion in the conventional work-load of the Probation Service has not removed the basic empirical and theoretical objections to present probation practice. However, there are few signs of...
    ...... of the Service embracing crime prevention as its central objective. Crime prevention and community work are vague and problematic ncepts. However, they do presuppose a ’bias towards the poor’ which has characterised the Probation ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Blog: Halliburton v Chubb: Supreme Court Rules on Arbitrator Impartiality
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court has recently handed down a judgment of critical importance addressing an arbitrator’s duty of impartiality and obligation to make disclosure. ...
    ...... as arbitrator in the Halliburton arbitration on the basis of apparent bias. The application was refused by the Commercial Court and by the Court of ... the appointment in the Transocean arbitration to Halliburton, an objective observer would not have concluded on the facts that there was a real ......
  • English Court Rejects ‘Warm And Friendly' Bias Claim Against Arbitrator In Costs Dispute
    • Mondaq UK
    ......The test for bias is therefore whether an objective fair-minded observer who was well informed of the facts, but detached from the case, would "conclude that there was a real possibility that the ......
  • Halliburton V Chubb: U.K. Supreme Court Rules On Arbitrator Bias
    • Mondaq UK
    ......To determine whether there is an appearance of bias such that. removal of an arbitrator is required, English law will apply the. objective test of whether an informed, fair-minded observer would. conclude that there is a real possibility of bias. While the obligation of impartiality ......
  • English Court Of Appeal Lowers The Bar For Arbitrator Disclosure
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... informed observer would conclude give rise to a real possibility of bias, but also to circumstances that merely might give rise to such a ...This is an objective test and requires a party to show that a fair-minded and informed ......
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