Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson has filed his application for a judicial review of the legality of the appointment of a Judicial Conduct Panel to investigate him.

He seeks a court order that the Judicial Conduct Commissioner's recommendation and the Attorney-General's decision to appoint a panel were not properly made because his conduct did not amount to a sackable offence. A panel can be appointed only where conduct complained of may warrant consideration of removal of a judge.

A "background briefing" prepared by the judge's lawyers, Colin Carruthers, QC and Mark O'Brien, and provided to the Herald, said Justice Wilson would be making no comment as the matter was now before the court.

It went on to say that the judge did, however, want it noted that a judicial review application was a normal court proceeding open to the public, an important constitutional right of any citizen affected by decision-making of a Government official.

The briefing said only seven Federal Court judges in the United States had been removed in more than 200 years - all for committing serious criminal offences, such as taking bribes, tax evasion and perjury.

The panel was appointed to investigate disclosures made by the judge regarding his business relationship with Alan Galbraith, QC, who was appearing in a case before him.

The disclosures relate to an imbalance in their financial contributions to their company, described by the Supreme Court as "well above the level at which a direct or indirect indebtedness from judge to counsel could be regarded as so minimal as to be immaterial".

The court found that the judge at the time could reasonably be considered to be beholden to Mr Galbraith.

It ordered a rehearing of the case - Saxmere v the Old Wool Board - which is set for next week.