In this family matters case, the complainant stated that the judge’s decision showed little thought or insight, and was rendered seven months after the hearing.

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In this family matters case, the complainant stated that the judge’s decision showed little thought or insight, and was rendered seven months after the hearing. The judge allegedly lacked impartiality and diligence, displayed impatient and dismissive behaviour towards her and her husband at the hearing, and showed no indication that he carefully considered the particular facts of this case. She also alleged that the judge did not recognize the grandparents’ rights of access, and made facetious, biased comments in his decision.

The complainant was advised by the Council that a decision should be produced by the judge as soon as reasonably possible, taking into consideration the urgency of the matter and other special circumstances. Special circumstances may include illness, the length or complexity of the case, an unusually heavy workload or other factors making it impossible to give judgment sooner. She was also advised that a person who alleges bias must be in a position to demonstrate the real or apparent lack of impartiality of the judge, and that personal opinion or disagreement with the judge’s decisions are not evidence of bias.

The Council recommended that if she disagreed with the findings of facts and law made by the judge, this would be a matter to take up with the courts, possibly by way of appeal. The matter was closed.

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