Hewitt, Regina (on The Application of) v Denbighshire Magistrates’ Court: Admn 22 Oct 2015

The claimant, a hunt protester appealed against her conviction for harassment saying that the judge had given the appearance of being biased. He had, on being asked denied being a member of the hunting community. She said that he had whilst in private practice represented on two occasions members of that community.
Held: The appeal failed.The judge need not have disclosed the representations. Each client had come to him from no connection with the hunting community, and the judge need not have disclosed them. Even had he done so: ‘no proper grounds existed for him to recuse himself from trying the Claimant. I simply do not accept that the fair-minded observer knowing the facts set out in paragraph 15 above would consider it a real possibility that the District Judge was biased simply by reason of the fact that seven years previously he had acted for a person connected to the Flint and Denbigh Hunt. The fact that Mr Armstrong was a terrier man when he was represented by the District Judge and that the Complainant Mr Smith is also a terrierman would not, in my judgment, alter the view of the fair-minded observer.’

Wyn Williams J
[2015] EWHC 2956 (Admin)
CitedIn Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 2); Director General of Fair Trading v Proprietary Association of Great Britain and Proprietary Articles Trade Association CA 21-Dec-2000
The claimants alleged that a connection between a member of the Restrictive Practices Court, who was to hear a complaint and another company, disclosed bias against them. She had not recused herself.
Held: When asking whether material . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedMorrison and Another v AWG Group Ltd and Another CA 20-Jan-2006
The defendants requested the judge to recuse himself because one witness was well known to the judge. He declined, saying that arrangements had been made for him not to be called. The defendant appealed.
Held: There was no allegation of actual . .

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Legal Professions

Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.553786