Justice Must Be Seen to Be Done: A Contextual Reappraisal

Anne Richardson-Oakes, Haydn Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article locates Lord Hewart CJ?s well-known dictum ?justice must be seen to be done? in the context of early 20th century concerns with the composition of the League of Nations? Permanent Court of International Justice. These concerns related to perceptions of judicial independence but his remarks now sustain an impartiality analysis criticised both for its amorphous nature and for its failure to address the relational dimensions of public confidence and legitimacy. In the 21st century, the composition of the judicial bench is once again an issue of concern but the imperatives are those of democracy and accountability. From this perspective, the appearance of justice is best served by judges who are reflective of the community they are appointed to serve. The ?fair reflection principle? of judicial international standards brings renewed attention to the issue of the composition of the judicial bench, giving contemporary substance to Lord Hewart?s remarks and illustrating further the dynamic connection between evolving national and international norms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)461-494
    Number of pages34
    JournalAdelaide Law Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2016


    • judicial independence and impartiality; appearances and judicial composition; Permanent Court of International Justice; international judiciary


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