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
24 March 2007

The Bible made them do it?

My take, published in Die Burger today, on the argument made by Dutch Reformed Church Dominees that the Bible tells them to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. I argue it is like Hansie Cronje saying the devil made him do it. Money quote:

DIT is moeilik om te verstaan waarom die Christelike godsdiens so behep met seks is. Self, moet ek sê, kan ek nie sien waarom daar so ’n bohaai oor seks gemaak word nie. Is dit dalk omdat seks nogal lekker kan wees en dus dat te veel seks ons vrees vir God sal laat taan?

Watter skade berokken seks tussen twee instemmende volwassenes enig­iemand? Dit sou wel die gesag van die kerk kon uitdaag, maar andersins is dit skynbaar net verkeerd omdat die kerk se interpretasie van die Bybel dit verkeerd ag.

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