Natural Justice

In English law, natural justice is technical terminology for the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua) and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem). While the term natural justice is often retained as a general concept, it has largely been replaced and extended by the more general "duty to act fairly".

The basis for the rule against bias is the need to maintain public confidence in the legal system. Bias can take the form of actual bias, imputed bias or apparent bias. Actual bias is very difficult to prove in practice while imputed bias, once shown, will result in a decision being void without the need for any investigation into the likelihood or suspicion of bias. Cases from different jurisdictions currently apply two tests for apparent bias: the "reasonable suspicion of bias" test and the "real likelihood of bias" test. One view that has been taken is that the differences between these two tests are largely semantic and that they operate similarly.

The right to a fair hearing requires that individuals should not be penalized by decisions affecting their rights or legitimate expectations unless they have been given prior notice of the case, a fair opportunity to answer it, and the opportunity to present their own case. The mere fact that a decision affects rights or interests is sufficient to subject the decision to the procedures required by natural justice. In Europe, the right to a fair hearing is guaranteed by Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is said to complement the common law rather than replace it.

Read more about Natural Justice:  Background

Other articles related to "natural justice, justice":

Blencoe V. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission) - Reasons of The Court - Administrative Delay
... was "whether the delay in this case could amount to a denial of natural justice even where the respondent's ability to have a fair hearing has not been compromised." He dismissed the possibility that the trial ... Bastarache considered whether the delay violated natural justice by causing serious harm to Blencoe ... then considered whether the delay violated natural justice by bringing the Human Rights Commission into disrepute ...
Nemo Iudex In Causa Sua
... It is a principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest ... to any appearance of a possible bias, even if there is actually none "Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done" ... in propria causa in propria causa nemo iudex The other principle of natural justice is "Hear the other party" (audi alteram partem or "The right to hearing") otherwise ...
Judicial Review In English Law - Grounds For Review - Procedural Impropriety - Breach of Natural Justice
... See also Natural justice The rules of natural justice require that the decision maker approaches the decision making process with 'fairness' ... Lord Steyn in Lloyd v McMahon AC 625 "the rules of natural justice are not engraved on tablets of stone." Below are some examples of what the rules of natural justice require ...
Natural Justice - Right To A Fair Hearing - Aspects of A Fair Hearing - The Decision and Reasons For It
... Currently, the principles of natural justice in the United Kingdom and certain other jurisdictions do not include a general rule that reasons should be given for decisions ...

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