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disqualification of a judge, jury or administrative officer for prejudice or interest in the subject matter. A judge may be recused as a result of objection by either party, or may voluntarily disqualify himself or herself if he or she fears that he or she may not act impartially, or that some circumstance will lead to a suspicion of bias.
EXAMPLE: Zhang Wei has been before a judge several times on criminal charges and has been acquitted each time. After each trial, the judge makes certain disparaging comments indicating to the press that he believes Zhang Wei is guilty. When Zhang Wei comes before the judge again, Zhang Wei seeks a recusal based on the earlier comments. Zhang Wei contends that the comments indicate prejudice on the judge's part and will prevent his getting a fair trial.
In most states, a judge may also be disqualified because he is related within certain degrees to a party litigant.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016