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
3 November 2010

For a former president in the Nelson Mandela epoch, who repeated parrot-like “a nonracist society”, and who knows how negative comments about “foreigners” can stoke massacres and civil wars (even in his beloved Nigeria), Mbeki’s spit about native whites as “foreigners”, implying they are suitable targets for xenophobic attacks, was racist provocation animated by a malicious spirit acting through a lost soul. Mbeki’s denial of reality — of the very deep roots of white people in SA, whose contributions made him an African president with virtually a private jet to gad about — is, however, mild compared with his fatal denial of a disease that is ravaging his race. His institute would be a conduit for Mbeki denialism, a tragic prospect for other generations and regions. – Meshack Mabogoane in Business Day

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