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
11 January 2007

Captain Blackadder on Bush’s new plan for Iraq

Not really. But the “new” plan for victory in Iraq does remind one of an episode of the BBC comedy “Blackadder.” The relevant dialogue follows after the video.

GENERAL: Now, Field Marshal Hague has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field.

CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: Ah, would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy, sir?

CAPTAIN DARLING: How could you possibly know that Blackadder, it’s classified information?

CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: It’s the same plan that we used last time, and the seventeen times before that.

GENERAL: Ex… ex… ex… actly! And that is what is so brilliant about it! It will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard. Doing precisely what we’ve done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they’ll expect us to do this time!

There is, however, one small problem.

CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten seconds?

GENERAL: That’s right. And Field Marshal Hague is worried that this may be depressing the men a tad. So, he’s looking to find a way to cheer them up.

CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: Well, his resignation and suicide would seem the obvious.

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