1 Garden Court

The Perils of Zoom: the Court allows an appeal against a judge’s refusal to recuse herself after she was inadvertently overheard making negative comments about a party during a Zoom hearing.

In Re C (a child) (2020) EWCA 987 the Court allowed an appeal against a judge’s refusal to recuse herself after she was overheard making negative comments about a party during a break in a Zoom hearing.  Tahmina Rahman examines the issues around the recusal application and the Court’s consideration of actual or perceived bias in the context of remote / hybrid hearings. The stakes were high for the mother in this case – she had either caused the death of a child or allowed the death to happen. The Court found that the ‘highly critical’ remarks by the judge about the mother’s honesty demonstrated a real possibility of bias. The case was remitted to be heard before a fresh judge and the appeal allowed. This article considers the context of the appeal and the practical implications of the judgment.

This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 30 July 2020.

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