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
24 November 2011

But let me acknowledge once more, loud and clear: I am an apartheid beneficiary. I am not proud of it. I am ashamed of the fact that gross human-rights violations were perpetrated in the name of my volk, that some of my fellow Afrikaners have shown absolutely no remorse, no humility with respect to the privileges they have enjoyed and still enjoy in post-apartheid South Africa. In Germany it is a crime to deny the Holocaust. Why should it be any different in South Africa for apartheid beneficiaries when they deny that they aided and abetted in the perpetration of and benefitted from a crime against humanity that remains as this untranslatable word, apartheid? – Jaco Barnard-Naude in a Blog post on Thought Leader

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