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
9 December 2011

Corruption is the elite’s way to steal from the poor, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in Johannesburg on Thursday. “It has become a matter of life and death. Corruption is the biggest threat to the realisation of our dreams,” he told an anti-corruption summit. “Self-enrichment will unravel the fabric of society.” Vavi said up to 20 percent of government procurement was lost to corruption as officials exploited gaps in the system to procure government tenders. “We are facing a nightmare future in South Africa… people are systematically using their power to secure… parts of society.” He said if the current economic system of capitalism continued with the “me first” mentality, it would be difficult to root out corruption. “The culture of me first accumulates and accumulates that one person in this country earns R627 million per year… while workers earn less than R1500 per month,” said Vavi. – Sapa

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