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Ontario and Canada
Appeal Court Dicta

Bias in Adjudicators - Unfavourable Comments

. Anthony v. Vinczer

In Anthony v. Vinczer (Ont CA, 2022) the Court of Appeal identifies comments made by a judge that do not reflect bias:
[6] The appellant failed to make out a proper foundation for the bias allegation. Inevitably, in ongoing proceedings between parties that are heard by the same judge, comments are necessarily going to be made by the judge disposing of a particular step in the proceeding that a party may not like. That reality does not establish bias on behalf of the judge concerned. An informed person, viewing the matter realistically and practically, would not conclude that unfavourable comments of the type involved here would amount to a showing of bias by the presiding judge: Committee for Justice and Liberty v. National Energy Board, 1976 CanLII 2 (SCC), [1978] 1 S.C.R. 369, at p. 394, per de Grandpré J. (dissenting); Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23 v. Yukon (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 25, [2015] 2 S.C.R. 282, at paras. 20-21.
. Kahsai v. Hagos

In Kahsai v. Hagos (Ont CA, 2022) the Court of Appeal commented on the autonomy granted a trial judge with respect to trial management:
[4] The appellant’s claim that the trial judge’s management of the trial was unfair and favoured the respondent does not bear up under scrutiny. The management of a trial is confided to the trial judge; it is not this court’s function to micromanage a trial in retrospect: R. v. Samaniego, 2020 ONCA 439, 151 O.R. (3d) 449, at paras. 15-17, aff’d 2022 SCC 9. The trial judge was patient with the parties and counsel, allowing the trial to stretch well beyond the estimated schedule. We will not criticize her modest efforts to corral counsel. Those efforts were balanced and reasonable.


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