8 Nov 2008

Supreme court agrees to hear judge bias case

11:11 am on 8 November 2008

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case of alleged bias involving a judge and a lawyer who own a business together.

The decision is the latest in a decade-long case in which merino wool growers in the company, Saxmere, claim they are due millions of dollars in payments from the former Wool Board, for marketing overseas.

Three years ago, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision in favour of Saxmere.

It has since emerged the presiding judge, Bill Wilson, co-owns a racehorse stud farm with Alan Galbraith QC, who was one of the Wool Board's lawyers.

The Supreme Court will now hear Saxmere's case that Justice Wilson may have been biased.

One of the lawyers representing Saxmere, Sue Grey, says Justice Wilson did not correctly declare his interest in the stud.