Judges should not be personally interested in the outcome of any case in which they are involved, or be prejudiced or biased.

The judges examining your case must be impartial. This means that they should not be personally interested in the outcome of the case and must not be prejudiced or biased.

Impartial judge

The fact that a judge does not agree with your opinion or favours the other party’s arguments does not necessarily mean that he/she is not impartial. Judges are always presumed to be impartial. Therefore, in order to prove that a judge is personally interested, prejudiced or biased, you must have very convincing evidence. 

example If the judge makes biased or discriminatory statements about you at the hearing or in public, this should provide serious evidence about his/her lack of impartiality.

A judge should not consider a case if: 

  • he/she is related to one of the parties or judges in the case.
  • he/she has participated in this case (or another case based on the same facts or dispute) at an earlier stage either as a party, expert, witness, judge, interpreter or the secretary of the court.
  • he/she is personally interested in the outcome of the case.

Disqualification of a judge

The Code of Administrative Court Procedure provides for the possibility of disqualifying a judge if you think he/she is not impartial. Generally, the judges in your case will be announced to you before the start of the trial. If you know any reasons why a judge should not hear your case, you should ask the court to remove that judge from the panel before they have started examining your case. 

Such application can only be submitted after the trial has started if you found out about such reasons at a later stage. In that case you have to submit this application as soon as possible.


Last updated 04/05/2019