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
16 July 2012

It is my contention that the ANC’s leadership crisis is greater at a collective level than it is at individual level. To some extent, the failures of an individual leader can be mitigated by a strong collective. Such a collective can be useful even when an organisation is in the middle of a golden period of leadership because it can defend the membership against the imperious tendencies of a capable and popular leader. We saw an attempt to do this in 2005, when the national executive committee of the ANC called on Zuma and Mbeki to craft a joint solution to what was becoming a bruising battle between their supporters in the months following the axing by Mbeki of Zuma as deputy president of the country. Their failure to craft such a solution precipitated another element of the leadership crisis — the collapse of the leadership collective and the open political warfare that followed. It is in this context that we must understand the battle for Mangaung. – Aubrey Matshiqi in Business Day

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