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
20 June 2010

Phillip Glass was part of a whole generation of composers – Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Adams – who became tired of western classical music’s incessant need to “go somewhere”. They found themselves attracted to non-western forms that resolutely refused to go anywhere at all, settling into a rhythm, or a groove, or a drone that had its own distinctive effect on the listener. Their subsequent work has been informed by their respective epiphanies, and they are among the most popular of all contemporary composers. We need to adopt the same approach to the vuvuzela. Its defiant monotone is a reminder that music does not need to go anywhere to make a statement. Its puffed-cheek player announces to the world: “We are here. The World Cup is here. Who would have thought it? Don’t forget it. Not even for one second.” It is a joyous, life-affirming sound, of a nation entranced in pride and celebration, and expressing it through its own culture. – Peter Aspden, arguing in that radical, politically correct, newspaper, the Financial Times, that opposition to the Vuvuzela is a cut and dried case of cultural imperialism.

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