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
31 May 2010

Even where Malema is apparently pursuing radical change, in the mining industry, he is in fact helping to entrench the spoils system at the heart of Mbeki’s ANC. He recently complained that “those who go around spreading lies and rumours linking the ANC Youth League to big business people should stop doing so because it is not funny anymore”. However, as this column has previously observed, Malema is fronting a putsch by Mbeki-era apparatchiks to create a state-owned mining company. Malema’s presentation to Parliament’s mining portfolio committee last week contained some comic gems. Those who do not yet know how the spoils will be distributed should take note of Malema’s insistence that the state-owned mining company should be “under the direct supervision of the Department of Mineral Resources” and “not public enterprises”. – Anthony Butler in Business Day

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