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
13 June 2023

On citizenship

The loss of citizenship – a fundamental right entrenched in s 20 of the Constitution – in these circumstances is arbitrary. Citizenship is an important right that brings with it many benefits. To deprive persons of this right, with no regard for their individual circumstances and the reasons that they are taking out another citizenship is both unfair and capricious.  The legislature is not against dual citizenship we were told. If that is so, why take away South African citizenship by automatic operation of law, and require that its retention depends upon the invocation of a ministerial discretion that is entirely unspecified as to what its exercise is intended to achieve?

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