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 August 2008

What’s going to happen now with that diary?

I see there was a coup d’etat in Mauritius. Wonder where that leaves the NPA request for the diary that shows Mr. Jacob Zuma met with arms dealers who allegedly paid him a bribe? Mr. Zuma’s appeal on that matter is still pending in the Mauritius courts. If I was a conspiracy theorist – which I am not – I would wonder about the timing of this coup and whether it has anything to do with a plot against the NPA!

UPDATE: Eish! I am obviously so obsessed with the Zuma matter that in my haste between appointments I read Mauritius for Mauritania! So no plot against the NPA then.

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