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
2 May 2015

Odidi against xenophobia and homophobia

This video aims to shock us into taking responsibility for Hate Crime; specifically anti-lesbian and xenophobic hate crimes. It features my friend Odidi Mfenyana, singing Billy Holiday’s siren protest song Strange Fruit. Although the song originally referred to the grotesque lynching of blacks in the United States, this version aims to prevent us becoming habituated and de-sensitized to the occurrence of violent hate crimes in South Africa. “Strange Fruit” is intended to cause a measure of discomfort and to call us to action.

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