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(p. 316) 9. Bias, Impartiality, and Independence 

(p. 316) 9. Bias, Impartiality, and Independence
(p. 316) 9. Bias, Impartiality, and Independence

Mark Elliott

and Jason Varuhas

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date: 27 May 2020

This chapter examines the notions of impartiality (and bias) and independence. It first provides an overview of the scope and rationale of the rule against bias before discussing the connection between impartiality and procedural fairness. It then reviews the ‘automatic disqualification rule’ by which a decision-maker can be disqualified if he/she has a sufficient financial interest in the outcome of the decision-making process. It also explores the apprehension of bias and the ‘fair-minded observer rule’, along with the political dimensions of the rule against bias. Finally, it considers Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights in an administrative context and when Article 6(1) applies to administrative decision-making. A number of relevant cases are cited throughout the chapter, including R v. Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy [1924] 1 KB 256.

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