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
12 September 2011

Why have the institutions of the state, the Hawks and the SA Revenue Service in particular, done nothing about Malema for all this time? Why is it that when City Press and other newspapers started raising the red flag about Malema’s wealth way back in 2009, no one lifted a finger? Why is Malema being investigated and possibly charged now? Are these investigations coordinated? We have been here before. We have seen state institutions being used for political ends. The man who alleged that President Thabo Mbeki and his administration were using organs of state to go after him was none other than Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, our current president. Zuma needs to explain to the nation whether Malema is being pursued because he is indeed dipping his fingers into places they should not be dipped, or whether he is being pursued because he has proven too opinionated for the comfort of some ANC leaders. – Justice Malala

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