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
20 March 2013

I obviously don’t know whether in fact there is a plan to slap Ramaphosa aside, say after he has helped the ANC to victory in 2014. However, I would be entirely unsurprised; just as I would be unsurprised if we are witnessing such a “slapping aside” of Zwelinzima Vavi. What do Zuma, Zuma and Sisulu have in common that they don’t share with Vavi and Ramaphosa? The first three were immersed in the exile and prison culture of the ANC, of the bitter war of survival, where myriad decisions were made in the deepest secrecy and then defended with one’s life and sometimes with the lives of others. These were decisions of war councils and political military committees and often dealt in life and death, and routinely involved breaking many laws that had nothing do with Apartheid and political repression. When you have stood together in such an enterprise and never baulked and you’ve kept the faith – you might be trusted with the undoubtedly distasteful task of keeping ex-president Jacob Zuma safe from prosecution – “For the Movement comrade, for our country”. – Nic Borain

SHARE:     
BACK TO TOP
2015 Constitutionally Speaking | website created by Idea in a Forest