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
27 August 2009

Book News: The Constitution in the Classroom

The Constitution in the Classroom: Law and Education in South Africa 1994 – 2008

Authors: Stu Woolman & Brahm Fleisch

About the publication:

The law on education and educational practices in South Africa would exhaust the capacity of any meaningful monograph. Instead, the authors of this book engage six discrete topics that refl ect the broader currents and conflicts in South African education debates: (a) school choice; (b) school fees; (c) the right to an adequate basic education; (d) single medium public schools; (e) school governing bodies; and (f) independent schools. The book has two further aims. First: To move beyond the debates taking place separately in the education policy community and the legal academy, and to demonstrate how these disciplines, working in concert with each other, can advance our understanding of law and education in South Africa. Second: To show that the ANC’s complex education agenda must mirror the egalitarian, utilitarian, democratic, and communitarian commitments found within the Constitution. How these competing political claims refl ected in our basic law play themselves out in the enabling education legislation, the case law and government education policy, frames each topic assayed in this work.

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