In Personam: Decisions Must Have Reasons Decisions Must Have Reasons | In Personam

In Personam

by Wan Zafran Pawancheek
Published September 30, 2015

Decisions Must Have Reasons

When judicial decisions cannot be traced to reasoned application of the law.

I’ve been involved in cases lately where the judges have ruled in my clients’ favour, but where I can’t even understand how they came to their decision.

It is better for litigants to lose by logical application of the law, rather than to dishonestly win for want of it. I note:

  • Judicial decisions founded on erroneous logic are not only difficult to defend on appeal, but cause a conflict of conscience, since an honest counsel cannot support or forward an interpretation of the law that he knows is without basis.

  • Unsound reasoning among judges also creates horrible, inconsistent precedents. (Which, in future disputes, may be wrongly applied against others.)

Judges must trace their logic more carefully.