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 April 2007

Whatever did he mean?

This interesting tidbit caught my eye:

The ANC’s Eastern Cape leadership has renewed its call for President Thabo Mbeki to stand for a third term as party leader. Provincial chairperson Stone Sizani asked the crowd at the opening of the party’s provincial office in King William’s Town on Friday what it was Mbeki needed to do.

Some within the crowd responded eagerly by holding three fingers in the air – representing three terms as ANC president. The crowd roared with support when Mbeki responded humorously in isiXhosa that he had 10 fingers, not only three.

Nice to see our President has a sense of humour. Or was he suggesting that he wanted ten terms as ANC President?
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