Quote of the week

Although judicial proceedings will generally be bound by the requirements of natural justice to a greater degree than will hearings before administrative tribunals, judicial decision-makers, by virtue of their positions, have nonetheless been granted considerable deference by appellate courts inquiring into the apprehension of bias. This is because judges ‘are assumed to be [people] of conscience and intellectual discipline, capable of judging a particular controversy fairly on the basis of its own circumstances’: The presumption of impartiality carries considerable weight, for as Blackstone opined at p. 361 in Commentaries on the Laws of England III . . . ‘[t]he law will not suppose possibility of bias in a judge, who is already sworn to administer impartial justice, and whose authority greatly depends upon that presumption and idea’. Thus, reviewing courts have been hesitant to make a finding of bias or to perceive a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of a judge, in the absence of convincing evidence to that effect.

L'Heureux-Dube and McLachlin JJ
Livesey v The New South Wales Bar Association [1983] HCA 17; (1983) 151 CLR 288
7 October 2009

Fikile Mbalula, the deputy minister of police, is the latest member of President Jacob Zuma’s new government to confess a taste for luxury German cars. And his minister, Nathi Mthethwa, spent R235 000 on accommodation for himself and his security detail in one of Cape Town’s top hotels while his official residence was being upgraded. According to a written response to a question from the Democratic Alliance, Mbalula spent R1.6-million on a BMW 740i to use while he is in Gauteng and a Mercedes Benz ML500 with off-road trim and special seats for when he is in Cape Town.- Report in The Times

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