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
3 February 2010

One of the key achievements of our Congress was precisely to single out in debates and resolutions the central threat to the unity and programme of our Alliance. In particular, our Congress singled out what we called “Kebble-ism” – namely, a dangerous axis between unscrupulous business people (black and white) on the one hand, and a bullying, chauvinistic populist tendency in parts of our movement on the other. Behind the headline stories of high-life parties and the flaunting of ill-gained wealth, lies the sordid reality of manipulative sponsorships, wheeling and dealing, organisational factionalism, arm-twisting and the general subversion of our democratic order. – South African Communist Party Statement issued after the first meeting of its Political Bureau for 2010.

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