Bias Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bias, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bias?

(n) Bias is the lenient view towards a person or entity belonging to a particular section like gender, color, locality, believes or any such specialty which may lead to take an impartial decision or decision against the truth, to favor such person. A bias can be for or against a section.

History and Meaning of Bias

The term "bias" originated from the French word "biais" which means slanting. Bias is a psychological concept that refers to the prejudice or inclination towards a particular viewpoint. In legal contexts, bias refers to a situation where a judge, juror, or decision-maker has a pre-existing opinion or inclination that would not allow them to make a fair and impartial decision.

Examples of Bias

  1. An employer who only hires men for management positions, based on their belief that men are better suited for those jobs, is displaying gender bias.

  2. A police officer who routinely stops and searches people of color without any reasonable suspicion is displaying racial bias.

  3. A judge who has a personal relationship with one of the parties in a case may be biased towards that party.

  4. A sports fan who always supports one team and is unfair towards others is displaying a bias towards that particular team.

Legal Terms Similar to Bias

  1. Prejudice: refers to preconceived opinions or attitudes that may influence decisions unfairly.

  2. Discrimination: refers to the act of unjustly treating someone differently based on their race, gender, nationality, or other characteristic.

  3. Stereotyping: refers to an oversimplified and generalized belief about a group of people, that is often inaccurate and unfair.

  4. Impartiality: refers to the ability to make decisions in an objective and unbiased manner.

  5. Conflict of Interest: refers to a situation where a person's personal, financial, or other interests conflict with their ability to make a fair decision.