Justice Must Be Seen to be Done, as Well as Done: UK Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal for the United Kingdom has affirmed once again the principal that a Court must not only deliver justice, but also be seen to be delivering justice.
In Crinion & Anor v IG Markets Ltd  EWCA Civ 587, the Court was asked to determine whether there had been a miscarriage of justice when the Trial Judge took his judgment almost entirely (94% as calculated by the Appellant) from the submissions of the Respondent’s Counsel.
Interestingly, the Appellant felt so strongly about the alleged miscarriage that they refused to discuss at all before the Appeal Court the merits of their case at first instance (probably because they had no arguable case at first instance).
Lord Justice Underhill, delivering the leading judgment of the Court, held  that “appearances matter”, and that “for the Judge to rely as heavily as he did on [Counsel’s] Submissions did indeed risk giving the impression that he had not performed his task of considering both parties’ cases independently and even-handedly”.
The Court noted that whilst it is always a matter of degree, the taking of Counsel’s Word file and changing the heading from “Submissions” to “Judgment” is not an intellegent move on the part of the Bench.
Ultimately, the Court held that the Appeal must fail because it could be inferred following careful consideration of the judgment that the Judge considered the other parties case.