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
6 December 2009

Press conference on sexual terror in Zimbabwe

Media Alert

You are invited to a press conference on the launch of a report by the advocacy organization AIDS-Free World on Thursday, 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

“Electing to Rape:  Sexual Terror in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe”:

n  is based on sworn affidavits from women raped by ruling party militias before, during and after Zimbabwe’s 2008 presidential elections;

n  reveals a conclusive pattern of orchestrated sexual violence and torture;

n  describes the targeting of women associated with the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, and

n  leaves no question that Robert Mugabe’s administration has committed crimes against humanity.

Four expert speakers will describe the report’s contents, including details and analysis of the testimony provided by survivors, and possible legal strategies for overcoming Zimbabwe’s culture of impunity.

Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS-Free World (and former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa);

Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer and President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe;

Elinor Sisulu, award-winning author, political analyst and human rights activist;

Betsy Apple, Legal Director and General Counsel, AIDS-Free World.

Moderator:  Shonali Shome, Legal and Gender Advisor, AIDS-Free World

Press Conference Details:

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2009

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Venue: The Gordon Institute of Business Science

Street address: 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg

Media interviews can be arranged at the close of the press conference.

Please RSVP to FD South Africa by Tuesday, 8 December 2009.

Sandra Sampayo     sandra.sampayo@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 079 167 6863

Dani Cohen              dani.cohen@fd.com 021 487 9000 / 082 897 0443

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