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 October 2009

CSD SEMINAR – Democracy under Threat?: What attacks on grassroots activists mean for our politics

In light of the recent attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) in Kennedy Road, Durban, the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at University of Johannesburg/Rhodes University will hold a seminar entitled Democracy under Threat?: What Attacks on Grassroots Activists Mean for our Politics where grassroots activists, scholars and human rights campaigners will discuss threats to free political activity and their implications.

 Venue: Training Centre, 6th Floor, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) – map attached

Time:   9am to 3pm

Date:   Wednesday, 4 November 2009

RSVP:   Johnny Selemani – jaselemani@gmail.com / 073 553 0726

           Kate Tissington – kate.tissington@wits.ac.za / 072 220 9125 (by Friday 30 October 2009)

 

Speakers:

Steven Friedman, Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD)

Pregs Govender, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

S’bu Zikode, President, Abahlali basMjondolo

Mnikelo Ndabankulu, Spokesperson, AbM

Zodwa Nsibande, General Secretary of the Youth League, AbM

Michael Neocosmos, Monash University

Richard Pithouse, Politics Department, Rhodes University

Andile Mngxitama, Foundation for Human Rights (FHR)

Marcelle Dawson, Centre for Sociological Research, University of Johannesburg (to be confirmed)

Noor Nieftagodien, History Department, University of the Witwatersrand

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