In 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 circumstances in a case might give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias, the test was whether objectively that appearance might be reasonable. It was not a subjective test of whether the lesser tribunal was actually biased. There is little substance to the distinction between a ‘real danger’, and a ‘real possibility’ of bias. Circumstances beyond those apparent to the parties might be taken into account. The judge’s own account of those circumstances can be taken into account. In this case a possible connection with a party meant that the judge should have recused herself. The court summarised the principles to be derived from this line of cases as follows: ‘(1) If a Judge is shown to have been influenced by actual bias, his decision must be set aside. (2) Where actual bias has not been established the personal impartiality of the Judge is to be presumed. (3) The Court then has to decide whether, on an objective appraisal, the material facts give rise to a legitimate fear that the Judge might not have been impartial. If they do the decision of the Judge must be set aside. (4) The material facts are not limited to those which were apparent to the applicant. They are those which are ascertained upon investigation by the Court. (5) An important consideration in making an objective appraisal of the facts is the desirability that the public should remain confident in the administration of justice.’

LJ Brooke, Lord Phillips MR, Robert Walker LJ
Times 02-Feb-2001, [2001] ICR 564, [2001] 1 WLR 700, [2000] EWCA Civ 350, [2000] All ER (D) 2425
European Convention on Human Rights 6
England and Wales
Appeal fromIn Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 2) RPC 17-Nov-2000
Part way into a trial, one of the judges in a case applied for a position with a company. She discovered that a director of that company was due to give evidence. She brought the circumstances to the attention of the remaining court and parties. She . .
CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedRegina v Gough (Robert) HL 1993
The defendant had been convicted of robbery. He appealed, saying that a member of the jury was a neighbour to his brother, and there was therefore a risk of bias. This was of particular significance as the defendant was charged with conspiracy with . .
CitedDimes v Proprietors of Grand Junction Canal and others HL 26-Jun-1852
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Cottenham, owned a substantial shareholding in the defendant canal which was an incorporated body. He sat on appeal from the Vice-Chancellor, whose judgment in favour of the company he affirmed. There was an appeal on the . .
CitedRegina v Rand 1866
A judge with an interest in a case, or is a party to it, will be debarred from hearing it.
Blackburn J said: ‘There is no doubt that any direct pecuniary interest, however small, in the subject of inquiry, does disqualify a person from acting . .
CitedRegina v Bow Street Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No 2) HL 15-Jan-1999
A petition was brought to request that a judgment of the House be set aside because the wife of one their lordships, Lord Hoffmann, was as an unpaid director of a subsidiary of Amnesty International which had in turn been involved in a campaign . .
CitedRegina v Camborne Justices ex parte Pearce QBD 1954
The applicant had been convicted by the Justices on charges of offences under the Food and Drugs Act 1938 which had been brought under the authority of the Health Committee of the Cornwall County Council. The Clerk to the Justices was a councillor . .
CitedRex v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy KBD 9-Nov-1923
Clerk wrongly retired with Justices
There had been a prosecution before the lay magistrates for dangerous driving. Unknown to the defendant and his solicitors, the Clerk to the Justices was a member of the firm of solicitors acting in a civil claim against the defendant arising out of . .
CitedWebb and Hay v The Queen 30-Jun-1994
(Australia) Criminal Law – Jury – Impartiality – Murder trial – Juror giving flowers to victim’s mother – Whether juror or jury to be discharged Appropriate test – Reasonable apprehension of lack of impartiality or real danger of lack of . .
CitedDelcourt v Belgium ECHR 17-Jan-1970
The applicant had failed in appeals against conviction and sentence for offences of fraud and forgery before the Belgian Cour de Cassation. He complained that he had not enjoyed the right to a fair trial recognised by Article 6(1) of the Convention . .
CitedRegina v Inner West London Coroner Ex Parte Dallaglio, and Ex Parte Lockwood Croft CA 16-Jun-1994
A coroner’s comment that the deceased’s relative was ‘unhinged’ displayed a bias which was irreparable. ‘The description ‘apparent bias’ traditionally given to this head of bias is not entirely apt, for if despite the appearance of bias the court is . .
CitedDe Cubber v Belgium ECHR 26-Oct-1984
The applicant a Belgian, had been convicted of forgery. He said that the court had not been an impartial tribunal because one of the judges had also acted as an investigating judge in his case. Amongst the grounds on which it was contended that . .
CitedPiersack v Belgium ECHR 1-Oct-1982
Hudoc applicant convicted of murder complained that his right to a fair trial under Article 6(1) had been denied because the trial court had been presided over by a Judge who, when senior deputy procureur, had . .
CitedBorgers v Belgium ECHR 30-Oct-1991
Hudoc The Court reconsidered the nature of the involvement of the Procureur general’s department in decisions taken by the Belgian Cour de Cassation. The Court sitting in plenary session reached, by a majority, a . .
CitedHauschildt v Denmark ECHR 24-May-1989
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient; . .
CitedGregory v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Feb-1997
A judge’s direction to the jury to disregard any question of racial bias was sufficient to ensure a fair trial for the defendant. In discussing the protection of the secrecy of jury deliberations: ‘The court acknowledges that the rule governing the . .
See AlsoIn Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods RPC 14-Apr-1999
Before granting leave to review the exemption of a class of goods from the resale price maintenance prohibition, there must be established prima facie evidence of a material change in circumstances, which might have led the earlier court to a . .

Cited by:
CitedRegina v Williams; Regina v Saunby; Regina v Ashby; Regina v Schofield; Regina v Marsh, Regina v Webb; Regina v Leese; Regina v Dodds; Regina v Clarkson; Regina v English CMAC 30-Jul-2001
The appellants variously claimed their convictions should be set aside because the court which had heard their cases was not independent and impartial. They alleged in particular that questions of military discipline and morale would affect the . .
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 . .
CitedSkjevesland v Geveran Trading Co Ltd CA 30-Oct-2002
The debtor’s wife was personally acquainted with counsel for the petitioner in his bankruptcy examination. He sought that it be set aside.
Held: Whereas a judge had a duty to be independent of the parties, no such duty fell on counsel. A court . .
CitedWilkinson v S and Lord Chancellor’s Department CA 4-Feb-2003
The appellant challenged his imprisonment for contempt of court. At and after a family court hearing he had verbally and physically assaulted other parties. He had been detained overnight, then sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Held: Where . .
CitedRegina v Carroll and Al-Hasan and Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 16-Feb-2001
The claimants challenged the instruction that they must squat whilst undergoing a strip search in prison. A dog search had given cause to supect the presence of explosives in the wing, and the officers understood that such explosives might be hidden . .
CitedMeerabux v The Attorney General of Belize PC 23-Mar-2005
(Belize) The applicant complained at his removal as a justice of the Supreme Court, stating it was unconstitutional. The complaint had been decided by a member of the Bar Council which had also recommended his removal, and he said it had been . .
CitedFlaherty v National Greyhound Racing Club Ltd CA 14-Sep-2005
The club regulated greyhound racing. The claimant had complained that its disciplinary proceedings had been conducted unfairly. He said that a panel member had an interest as veterinary surgeon in the proceedings at the stadium at which the alleged . .
AppliedDiscain Project Services Ltd v Opecrime Development Ltd TCC 11-Apr-2001
. .
CitedGillies v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 26-Jan-2006
The claimant said that the medical member of the tribunal which had heard his disability claim was biased. The doctor was on a temporary contract and also worked for an agency which contracted directly the Benfits Agency. The court of session had . .
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 . .
CitedRegina v Abdroikof, Regina v Green; Regina v Williamson HL 17-Oct-2007
The House was asked whether a jury in criminal trials containing variously a Crown Prosecution Service solicitor, or a police officer would have the appearance of bias. In Abdroikof, the presence of the police officer on the jury was discovered only . .
CitedHeald and Others v London Borough of Brent CA 20-Aug-2009
The court considered whether it was lawful for a local authority to outsource the decision making on homelessness reviews. The appellants said that it could not be contracted out, and that the agent employed lacked the necessary independence and was . .
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 . .
See alsoIn re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 4) CA 26-Jul-2001
The parties had expended very considerable sums preparing for a hearing. The hearing became abortive when it was questioned whether a member of the court had given the appearance of bias. The parties sought payment of their wasted costs from the . .
CitedMcKeown v British Horseracing Authority QBD 12-Mar-2010
The jockey claimant challenged disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the defendant authority.
Held: The findings were upheld in part but remitted for consideration of giving the claimant opportunity to challenge certain evidence. . .
CitedKaur, Regina (on The Application of) v Institute of Legal Executives Appeal Tribunal and Another CA 19-Oct-2011
The claimant appealed against rejection of judicial review of a finding that she had effectively cheated at a professional examination for the Institute. She compained that the presence of a director and the council’s vice-president of the Institute . .
CitedHewitt, 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 . .
CitedAmeyaw v McGoldrick and Others QBD 6-Jul-2020
Recusal Refused – former Pupil Master
Request for recusal – the judge was said to have been a member of the same chambers as counsel for the claimant and had been his mentor.
Held: Refused: ‘It was untenable to contend that there was an appearance of bias in circumstances where . .

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Litigation Practice, Natural Justice, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.82055