Release of Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry into judicial impartiality and law on bias

The final report of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) inquiry into judicial impartiality and the law on bias was tabled today in Federal Parliament.

The ALRC was asked to consider whether reforms are needed to existing laws relating to impartiality and bias and whether they are sufficient to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice.

The ALRC also looked at whether these laws are adequate for managing potential conflicts, and the adequacy of current review and appeal mechanisms for allegations of actual or apprehended bias.

I am pleased the ALRC found that, in general, the Australian public has a high level of confidence in Australian judges and courts and the Australian judiciary is highly respected internationally and that the substantive law on actual or apprehended bias does not require amendment.

The ALRC’s report contains 14 recommendations and the Government will now consult widely and respond in due course.

The Albanese Government is already acting to restore integrity in the judicial appointments process by returning to a more transparent, merit-based approach.

I am a longstanding supporter of a federal judicial commission to deal with complaints against serving judges.

I thank the ALRC for its hard work and commitment in delivering the final report, and extend thanks to the ALRC’s Advisory Committee and all those who contributed to the inquiry.

The final report and further information will be made available on the ALRC website.

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