English child care judge found to have potential bias after leaving remote link open
The Court of Appeal (Civil Division) has remitted care proceedings in respect of a baby whose brother died to the Family Division after finding that the original judge may have expressed bias against one of the parties when she made a number of pejorative comments to her clerk about the appellant including that she had tried “every trick in the book” to avoid having to answer difficult questions.
One of the appeal judges in the present case said that it was “to the credit of those that overheard the judge” that they attempted to “speak over and distort the conversation” she was having with her clerk, our sister publication Scottish Legal News reports.
Proceedings were conducted by way of a “hybrid” hearing in which the case was conducted both remotely via Zoom conference and in court. The original judge, Mrs Justice Judd, refused to accede to an application to recuse herself from the case, a decision which was appealed by the child’s mother.