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
6 February 2013

People talk too much about the economy and not enough about jobs. When economists, academics and bankers are allowed to lead the debate, the essential human element goes missing. This is neither healthy nor practical. Unemployment should be our prime concern. Spain, with youth joblessness close to 50%, is in the gravest crisis, but there is hardly a government on the planet that is not wondering what it can do to guide school-leavers into work, exploit the skills of older workers, and avoid the apathy and alienation of the jobless, which undermines not just the economy but also the social fabric. – John Studzinski in the Guardian

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