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Sedley L.J. said,

“10. The test of ostensible bias is not contentious. It is whether a fair-minded observer informed of all the relevant circumstances would have concluded that there was a real possibility that the judge was biased. Bias in the present context has to mean the premature formation of a concluded view adverse to one party. We put it in this way because it is well established not only that a judge may and commonly will begin forming views about the evidence as it goes along, but that he or she may legitimately give assistance to the parties by telling them what is presently in the judge’s mind. This may properly include, as it did for example in Jacob J’s decision in Hart v Relentless Records Ltd [2002] EWHC 1984 (Ch) at [38], letting the parties know before reaching the defence case that the judge did not think much of the claimant’s evidence. What is not acceptable is for the judge to form, or to give the impression of having formed, a firm view in favour of one side’s credibility when the other side has not yet called evidence which is intended to impugn it.”

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