Definition - What does Recusal mean?

Recusal refers to the self-removal of a judge from a particular case due to a conflict of interest. In other words, it is when a judge believes that they cannot hear the case objectively because they have a personal interest in it. The judge therefore steps down from the case and allows another judge to take over the proceeding.

Recusal can also be involuntary.

Justipedia explains Recusal

A judge may recuse if they have a family member that is either a plaintiff or a defendant in a case. A judge may also recuse if they have a different type of interest in the case. For example, if the plaintiff in the case is a friend, or a former employer, this could cause the judge to recuse.

The whole point of the court system is to try to let justice be served fairly. So, judges are allowed to recuse if they feel that they cannot do that.

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