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 March 2007

Now Sweden to get same-sex marriage?

In Sweden, the special commissioner for consideration of the possibility of making marriage available to same-sex couples presented his report to the Minister for Justice 21 March 2007. The report contains proposals for a draft bill amending the Swedish Marriage Code, making it gender neutral. In his report the commissioner also proposes the repeal of the Swedish Registered Partnership Act. Registered partnerships that have not been dissolved at the time of entry into force of the amended Marriage Code would take effect as marriages. Representatives of religious communities would have the legal capacity but not the obligation to perform marriages irrespective of the gender of the future spouses. The amendments are proposed to take legal effect 1 January 2008.
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