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Bias in the Context of Civil Litigation

Data Law Limited


£120 inc VAT
Or £40.00/mo. for 3 months...
Study method
Online, self-paced
1 hour
No formal qualification
Additional info
  • Tutor is available to students

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Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course you will:
  • • Have a firm understanding of what the legal test of bias is and how it is applied by Judges
  • • Be able to identify the key attributes of the ‘fair minded and informed observer
  • • Understand how and when complaints of bias should be raised in civil proceedings
  • • Be aware of the general rule that applies when a Judge has business ties to the same chambers as a barrister in the case and appreciate the circumstances in which such a connection may give rise to a complaint of bias
  • • Have the skills and ability required to quickly and efficiently evaluate merits of applications and appeals
  • • Appreciate the importance of judicial transparency regarding their associations and conflicts of interest
  • • Be aware of the diversity of judicial opinion on when Judges may cross the line into acting partially in any given case

What is the target audience?

  • Civil practitioners of all levels


This 3-part session will provide a guide to the legal test of bias, including how Judges apply the test and how practitioners can raise a complaint of bias in civil proceedings.

Consideration will be given to the courses of action available when a Judge has business ties to the same chambers as a barrister in the case. In addition, the key points of practice in recent case law will be discussed and will provide a practical illustration of unconscious bias principle.

Part 1: What it Means and How to Raise it

During this session, barrister Ben Amunwa will explain the classic legal test for bias and will depict the key characteristics of how Judges have applied the test in practice, with reference to recent case law.

Consideration will be given to the procedures for raising complaints of bias (during a hearing and / or on appeal) and Ben will provide viewers with advice on how best to raise complaints of bias in an application for recusal or an application for permission to appeal.

Part 2: Professional Connections Between Judges and Barristers

Through the examination of a recent key case in this area, Ben will explore the duty of legal advisers to disclose information to their opponents’ regarding their professional business ties or associations with Judges. The need for this do be done in a proactive and timely manner will also be discussed.

Ben will provide viewers with guidance on how and when a bias challenge may succeed on the basis of professional connections between a Judge and a barrister in the case and will discuss some of the scenarios you should be alert to in practice.

Part 3: Practical Tips and Recent Developments

During this session viewers will gain an understanding of how the Court of Appeal assesses allegations bias.

Consideration will be given to a recent application of the bias test in an international commercial dispute and will highlight the importance of a fair hearing before an independent Tribunal. Viewers will be encouraged to advise clients on the importance of taking an objective approach that is supported by contemporary evidence. Viewers will also receive guidance on how to identify and evaluate the merits of such allegations and what evidence may be required

This session will assist practitioners develop a wider toolkit for advising clients on their likelihood of success on these difficult applications. Ben will also direct viewers to where they can find recent practical tips on allegations of bias, with wide application in civil litigation.

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What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as Quality Licence Scheme and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.