Implications of Case Management and Active Adjudication for Judicial Disqualification

Jula Hughes, Philip Bryden

Abstract


The judicial role of Canadian judges is changing to allow judges to make trials fairer, more accessible, and more efficient. Along with the changing role of judges has come new tools, including pretrial settlement and case management conferences, and even active adjudication during the course of the trial. However, this new role and the use of its associated tools have the potential to raise an apprehension of bias. This article focuses on recent case law and commentary addressing case management and active adjudication by judges, with the aim of clarifying the boundary between permissible judicial intervention that fosters fairness and efficiency, and impermissible interventions that raise an apprehension of bias. Additionally, we discuss the role counsel can play in helping to avoid concerns of bias from arising.

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