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
28 June 2011

Often now I turn away from things,
from jubilance save that
which from a quiet word
may grant my moment’s wealth:
a home town’s olive orchard
that shivers in dusklight, the pit-pat
as fruit fall free to the ground;
or the homeless manic’s quiet rage at grace
when a shop owner hands him coffee.
Most of all, I walk
so I may reach home and try to know
myself, so I may turn to work.

– Rustum Kozain (Cape Town, Jerusalem) in his volume of poetry, The Carting Life

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