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
12 April 2007

Home Affairs to the rescue

A reader responds to my post on the state’s recognition of a change in one’s sex/gender.

There seems to be another way to change your gender – even if you don’t intend to: just apply to Home Affairs for a passport. Quote from yesterday’s Cape Times: “Sindie Bosch has been waiting a year for a passport, putting up patiently with delay after delay – and it all got a bit much when she was recently handed the document – in the name of a Mr. Chauke. When she returned to Home Affairs, the assistant at the desk at the Centurion office here asked: “But isn’t that you on the photo?””

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