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
21 September 2012

“Sihamba noMsholozi, Sihamba noPresident (We are going with Msholozi, we are going with the president)”, Cosatu delegates sang on the closing day of their 11th national congress. The song indicated that the delegates supported Jacob Zuma’s (Msholozi is his clan name) bid for a second term as ANC leader at the ruling party’s national conference in Mangaung in December. Then, later on Thursday, they bestowed the “worst employer” award to Aurora Empowerment Systems, whose directors include Khulubuse Zuma, the president’s nephew, for breaking “every record in terms of dodging responsibility” and “starving workers”. It was one of many bizarre contractions of the four-day Cosatu congress, which the federation’s re-elected president Sdumo Dlamini opened on Monday. – Ranjeni Munusamy on Daily Maverick

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