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
13 May 2010

At some stage of her career, she changed the name of a hospital against the wishes of the local community and tried to interfere in an independent inquiry. She’s been pulled out of her luxury government car and pushed into a taxi by angry protesters. Oh, and she’s also refused to follow due process with the renaming of the national capital. Her cavalcade was caught driving 140km/h in a 70km/h zone. And what was the other thing? Oh yes, she’s completely cocked up the running of the capital city, so badly, actually, that she was named the worst mayor in the country. But despite all of that, she’s now the new deputy chairwoman of the Gauteng ANC. Step aside Nomvula Mokonyane, welcome Gwen Ramokgopa. – The Daily Maverick on the election of Gwen Ramokgopa as deputy chairperson of the Gauteng ANC

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