Vakauta v Kelly: 1989

(High Court of Australia) The majority held that the first instance judge fell on the wrong side of ‘an ill-defined line beyond which the expression by a trial judge of preconceived views about the reliability of particular medical witnesses could threaten the appearance of impartial justice.’
Toohey J said: ‘… when a party is in a position to object but takes no steps to do so that party cannot be heard to complain later that the judge was biased.’

Brennan, Deane and Gaudron JJ
(1989) 167 CLR 569
Appeal fromVakauta v Kelly 1988
(Supreme Court of New South Wales) The judge had made disparaging remarks about certain doctor witnesses who ‘thought you could do a full day’s work with no arms and no legs.’ Mahoney JA discussed a suggestion of apparent bias, saying: ‘In . .

Cited by:
CitedOtkritie International Investment Management and Others v Urumov CA 14-Oct-2014
The claimants brought proceedings against several defendants. There had been a series of hearings conducted by a single judge leading to findings that several defendants had been involved in a fraud. The defendants sought recusal of that judge . .
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 . .
CitedThe Conservative and Unionist Party v The Election Commissioner CA 23-Nov-2010
A losing candidate at a local election alleged corrupt and illegal practices relating to the entry of non-existent people on the electoral roll and using postal votes. The Election Commissioner found this proved and the election void, and awarded . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 13 December 2021; Ref: scu.537709