Judicial Impartiality, Bias and Emotion

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Impartiality is the defining value of judicial work. Judicial emotion is routinely characterised as inherently inconsistent with impartiality and therefore a source of bias. This article investigates how judicial officers themselves understand impartiality, emotion and bias and examines the practices they use to achieve impartiality and avoid bias. Focusing on cases in which apparently emotionally driven or intemperate judicial conduct in court is challenged generates insight into the practical contexts in which some judicial emotion arises and its legal consequences. This analysis finds a more complex relationship among impartiality, bias and emotion than is encompassed in legal doctrines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-82
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Administrative Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Impartiality
  • Judicial impartiality
  • judicial work
  • judicial emotion
  • bias
  • sources of bias
  • intemperate judicial conduct
  • legal consequences
  • legal doctrines


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