Cold Neutrality? A Comparison of the Standards of the House of Lords with those of the German Federal Constitutional Court

Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 20 (3):391-406 (2000)

Allegations of bias against senior judges have not been common in English courts, so the House of Lords had little material to draw on when the Pinochet case was decided. It is therefore worthwhile to compare their Lordships» approach with that of the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany. This court has been selected because: (a) it has a comparable number of judges to the House of Lords and its decisions are unappealable, and (b) its cases have a constitutional and (often) political content—as did the Pinochet case. The Federal Constitutional Court case law is comparatively prolific, so this study has been limited to the last 15 years. The case law covers a wide variety of issues, for example provision of legal opinions or representation, membership of associations, holding of public offices, public statements of opinion. If the standards set in this case law were applied to Lord Hoffmann's position in the Pinochet case, there are grounds for saying that he might not have been excluded
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DOI 10.1093/ojls/20.3.391
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