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 August 2010

This morning it was agreed that Nyami Booi, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, will forward a letter to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Leader of Government Business, advising him that the portfolio committee:
• has received guidance from the Max Sisulu, Speaker of the National Assembly, that parliament has the power to require any person or institution to produce reports;
• is now formally requesting that the interim reports be produced within a reasonable period of thirty days;
• that until the interim reports are received the portfolio committee has taken a decision to suspend deliberations on the Defence Amendment Bill; and;
• that in the event the interim reports are not produced the portfolio committee reserves the right, as a measure of last resort, to compel cabinet to produce the interim reports. – Statement of DA MP David Maynier

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