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
9 December 2010

“In a subsequent aside, Malema admitted that ANCYL president, Fikile Mbalula, did not want to support Zuma during the rape trial but that the regional leadership insisted, arguing that if the YL defended Zuma on corruption charges, they could defend him on rape charges since both acts are immoral. He also hinted that Fikile was told his position depended on his support of Zuma.” Malema told the diplomats that if Zuma was sent to jail the league would support the ANC secretary general, Kgalema Motlanthe, for the presidency. “However, he added that though ‘Motlanthe is brilliant, you can’t understand anything he says’.” – The Guardian on leaked USA cables.

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