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
23 July 2010

But there was a moment when the mask slipped, and slipped badly. Moffet Mofokeng from the City Press, a mild-mannered, very experienced, and very polite reporter asked simply, “Mr President, the movements in your office, can you give us an update on them?” No hostility, no malice, no agenda. Just a request for information. Zuma became a different person. He leant forward as far as the lectern would allow, “The problem with you guys”, he said, “is that you discuss matters that are not relevant to you, the discussions are confidential, we should end the matter there. Don’t go to speculation, even though that’s your right.” He stopped there. And caught himself. There was a definite pause, then that peculiar grunt he makes whenever under pressure, and he laughed. And ended with, “you’re just trying to make matters confidential not confidential.” – Stephen Grootes on President Jacob Zuma’s post-lekgotla press conference

SHARE:     
BACK TO TOP
2015 Constitutionally Speaking | website created by Idea in a Forest