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
10 June 2011

CASAC joins challenge to extension of term of office of Chief Justice

MEDIA STATEMENT

10 June 2011

CASAC Challenges extension of term of office of Chief Justice

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) will challenge the unilateral decision by President Jacob Zuma to extend the term of the office of Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo.

CASAC will be joining the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) in the court action. Legal papers are being prepared and will be filed as soon as possible.

CASAC has taken this decision as the actions of the President infringe upon the fundamental principles of the Constitution including the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers. CASAC will challenge the validity and constitutionality of section 8 of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act.

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