recusal

Faced with 'wrongful allegations' of bribery, judge recuses herself

A prominent judge of Malawi’s high court has announced her recusal from a case involving the death of a woman allegedly at the hands of her husband. Judge Fiona Mwale has recused herself from the trial following claims by the family of the dead woman that bribe money had been collected to pay the presiding officer in the matter. She said that there was no truth in the claim, but that she felt she had to quit the trial so that the bribery allegation could be investigated.

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The contentious matter of recusal has emerged again. This time it takes the form of what could well be a deliberate attempt to force a judge to stand down from a controversial matter she has been hearing.

Judge stands down, citing 'intensity of insolence' from counsel

The search for Kenya’s new chief justice has reached a crucial point: an intensive fortnight of candidate interviews by the judicial service commission. But the battle over the future of the jurist leading the search, Kenya’s acting chief justice, Philomena Mwilu, is continuing in parallel. Most recently, the high court judge set to hear a petition that Justice Mwilu be removed as acting CJ and deputy CJ among other positions, because of graft allegations against her, has announced he will recuse himself.

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The question of when judges should recuse themselves from hearing certain cases continues to be one of the most hotly-debated judicial issues in the region. The latest decision by Patrick Otieno, a member of Kenya’s high court bench, will add fuel to these flames. The judge has recused himself from hearing a petition seeking orders barring the second most senior jurist in the country from continuing in office,

Laptop left on, so private conversation in judge's chambers heard in courtroom

This is a case that offers a warning lesson to every reader, judge, counsel and litigant. And it is particularly relevant to everyone struggling to come to terms fully with the ways that the coronavirus pandemic affects the practice of law. The UK judge at the heart of this matter was dealing with a difficult case of possible child abuse arising from the death of a baby, and had to decide what arrangements should be made for the care of the remaining child.

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The case before Judge Frances Judd was a very sensitive and distressing family matter. A, the older of two young children in a family, had died aged 18 months from what the court heard was ‘a catastrophic head injury accompanied by significant bruising.’ What was to happen to the younger brother, E, now aged 16 months? Was it safe for him to stay with his mother?

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