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
28 August 2009

Constitutionally Speaking is expanding

Along with the new design, Constitutionally Speaking is expanding to include two new sections. Contributions are invited to the seminar room, which is a forum for debate and discussion on constitutional law and political governance issues. Submissions must be between 700 and 3000 words and can deal with any relevant constitutionalism topic, including a comment on a court judgment or academic article, a book review, a copy of a talk or original writing on a topical issue. You may also wish to send information about seminars, conferences, lectures or new publications which can be advertised on the updates page.

Send all contributions to pierre.devos@uct.ac.za

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