Monday, July 15, 2013

Reasonable apprehension of bias

In murder cases bail is considered by a Superior Court judge. Is it problematic for the bail judge to be the trial judge?  No; see R. v. Williams, 2013 ONCA 477:

[2]          The fact that Whitten J. presided at the appellant's unsuccessful bail application and then at the trial, almost two years later, did not create a reasonable apprehension of bias. The trial judge's expression of opinion at the bail hearing as to the strength of the Crown's case was justified by the record before him and, indeed, was later borne out by the evidence called at the trial. The trial judge was not the trier of fact in this case and was not called upon to make any findings of credibility.

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