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 August 2013

But the problem was wider than the status of teaching, [Nomalanga] Mkhize maintained, and came down to the general value of education. How was it, Mkhize asked, that “education came to be treated with such disrespect and disdain by the educated black professionals who administer it and why on earth was there no parents’ uprising?” One reason for the devaluing of education could be that “other forms of social advancement, particularly political association”, now offer a quicker route to improve the class prospects of black people than education does. This is a point that University of the Free State Rector Jonathan Jansen also made last year; a problem, he says, is that there is now “a visible lack of connection between education and economic well-being” in many communities. – Report by Rebecca Davis of Daily Maverick on Education in South Africa

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