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
7 February 2011

And as with the ANC’s failed attempts to censor the media, Zuma again helps the ruling party bear a scary resemblance to the National Party under apartheid. They, too, justified their actions under the banner of being “God’s chosen people”. The fall from revolutionary party to oppressor mimicry is almost textbook Orwell.  The last time I checked I chose to live in a democracy — not a theocracy. That implies a division between church and state, and one that I fully support as a Christian. Yes, leaders are influenced by their beliefs and their ideologies, but the politician’s lectern is not a pulpit and government is not the place to preach. – Verashni Pillay on President Zuma’s latest statements on heaven and the ANC

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