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
14 May 2012

In fact, as I argued last week, what they are trying to do, with some success, is to impose a counterreality in which the sins of apartheid are being erased by the sins, failures and weaknesses of the African National Congress (ANC). The intention is to erase the racism of the past and present with the corruption, lack of delivery, moral degeneration and the pursuit of narrow individual interests which, for reasons I will unpack in another article, form part of the dominant narrative in South African politics and radio talk shows. In other words, apartheid was not so bad after all. And because apartheid was not so bad after all, as evidenced by the unbridled racism of those who respond online to columns and articles that are published in this newspaper, the arrogance of some white people has itself become a significant component of this dominant narrative. – Aubrey Matshiqi in Business Day

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