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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> Eldin & Anor, R. v  EWCA Crim 1904 (09 June 2006)
Cite as:  EWCA Crim 1904
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B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE AIKENS
MR JUSTICE GOLDRING
|R E G I N A|
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Smith Bernal, 190 Fleet Street, London EC4
Telephone 020-7421 4040
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR J BENNATHAN appeared on behalf of THE APPELLANT B SIRAJ-ELDIN
MR J FARMER appeared on behalf of THE CROWN
Crown Copyright ©
Friday 9 June 2006
LORD JUSTICE KEENE: I will ask Mr Justice Aikens to give the judgment of the court.
MR JUSTICE AIKENS:
"(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. There 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."
"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."
"The material circumstances will include any explanation given by the judge under review as to his knowledge or appreciation of those circumstances. Where that explanation is accepted by the applicant for review, it can be treated as accurate. Where it is not accepted, it becomes one further matter to be considered from the viewpoint of the fair-minded observer. The court does not have to rule whether the explanation should be accepted or rejected. Rather it has to decide whether or not the fair-minded observer would consider that there was a real danger of bias notwithstanding the explanation advanced. Thus in R v Gough, had the truth of the juror's explanation not been accepted by the defendant, the Court of Appeal would correctly have approached the question of bias on the premise that the fair-minded onlooker would not necessarily find the juror's explanation credible."
".... distrust of the [Criminal Justice System] is founded in the growing body of data which shows that Black and Irish people are differently treated at all stages of the Criminal Justice process and they are disproportionately likely to be imprisoned."