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
4 February 2007

Arms deal: now Chippie Shaik implicated

Chippy Shaik, former head of government acquisition in the arms deal and brother of convicted fraudster, Schabir Shaik, was paid a $3m (about R21 million) bribe by one of the arms deal bidding companies, Germany’s on-line newspaper Spiegel reported on Sunday.

According to the newspaper internal documents of Thyssen Krupp – a German company that supplied South Africa with war corvette ships – has revealed that Shaik had requested the bribe in 1998.

Questions about the arms deal just does not seem to want to go away. When the history of the rise and fall of the ANC is written, the arms deal will warrant more than a footnote….

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