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
1 December 2011

The party has a responsibility to ensure that, in the process of seeking to transform both the state and society, the legitimacy of the state is not compromised. Whereas the party, through its government, exercises political authority over the State, the separation between the Party and the State is imperative. Given the character and nature of the ANC, contestation to influence and control the State is an ongoing struggle, whose outcome will partly be determined by the balance of forces, as well as the imperatives of what type of society and State, the ANC seeks to build. The ANC’s approach and orientation on the question of State Power and its use is well documented. The Strategy and Tactics document of the ANC, as adopted at the ANC’s 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane, is clear on what must be done. The challenge lies in our day to day experiences, wherein the ANC, its Alliance partners and its functionaries in and out of government, adopt different and at times conflicting postures towards the State and its Organs. The ANC fully embraces the doctrine of Separation of Powers as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. – ANC Gauteng discussion document

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