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A Trial Judge’s Reading Blog

REASONABLE APPREHENSION OF BIAS-PRIOR INVOLVEMENT WITH ACCUSED

R. v. Abdul-Aziz, 2023 ABCA 338, November 27, 2023, at paragraphs 8 to 10:

As a general rule, the fact that a judge has heard prior applications involving the same parties does not lead to an apprehension of bias, even if the judge has ruled against the objecting party: Alberta Health Services v Wang2018 ABCA 104 at para. 9Broda v Broda2001 ABCA 151 at para. 16, 286 AR 120; Moshinsky-HelmR. v N.C.B.2012 ABCA 238 at paras. 21-23, 69 Alta LR (5th) 106, 536 AR 26; R. v Werner2005 NWTCA 5 at para. 18, 205 C.C.C. (3d) 556, D.M.M. v T.B.M.2011 YKCA 8 at para. 39, 311 BCAC 146; Abi-Mansour v Canada (Passport)2016 FCA 5 at para. 14, 481 NR 145; R. v Bolt1995 ABCA 22 at para. 2, 162 AR 204.

This presumption applies when a judge hears a bail application or bail review and then other aspects of the proceeding: R. v Perciballi (2001), 2001 CanLII 13394 (ON CA), 54 OR (3d) 346 at paras. 21-25, 154 CCC (3d) 481 (CA); Tucker v R.2022 NBCA 59 at paras. 17-21R. v Valle-Quintero2021 ONCA 390 at para. 8R. v Hiscock2016 NLCA 74R. v Boyle2014 ONCA 705 at paras. 3-6R. v Williams2013 ONCA 477 at para. 2R. v Jones2008 NSCA 99 at paras. 23-26, 270 NSR (2d) 115. In fact, the protocol of the Court is that a second application for release (based on a change of circumstances) should be heard by the same judge who heard the first application: R. v D’Agostino1998 ABCA 202 at paras. 17-18.

Further, having previously expressed an opinion on a point of law does not justify recusal, because all judges are required to apply the same law: J.L.A. at paras. 14-15, 36-39, 65-66.

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