Reasoned Decision: The Necessity and Importance to Achieve Transparent and Accountable Society

Date01 August 2015
Published date01 August 2015
Subject MatterArticle
Anju P. Singh*
Reasoned decision is one of the facets of natural justice. Reasons
as considered to be the essence of the judicial decision, it is often
termed as both norm and ideal of the comm on law tradition in
decision making. A statement of reasons in any order ensure the
judge, parties and also public that the decisio n is arrived at after
due consideration of all the relevant submissions, arguments an d
evidence produced. Giving of reasons promotes good decision
making. It shows the element of arbitrariness is absent and keeps
check on judicial power exercise. By providing reasons, public get
faith in the authorities and a dministration of justice and believes
justice is done after due consideration a nd if not done so can
appeal to exercise their rights. Reasons are essential for the rule of
law in any state and also for the principles of commo n law to be
operational like principle of stare decisis. It provides accessibility
to all the people in a state and judges as well. Reasons also
perform an educational pur pose for the society and acts as a tool
to bring good governance in a state. The need of providing reasons
in any administrative order brings the element of transparency and
accountability in system.
Laws whether highly general or very specific are all ‘universal
propositions of practical reason’.1
I. Reasoned Decision
Reason is the capacity to understand and work with reasons. Reasons are
reason for judging a thought, a proposition, to be true (or false, or doubtful).
* Resea rch Associate, National Law University Delhi and Resea rch Scholar, Panjab
University Chandigarh.
1 John Finnis, Reason in ActionCollected Essays: Volume I (OUP 2011) 1.
Journal of National Law University, Delhi [Vol. 3164
Some reasons are reasons for judging it to be true (or not certainly true) that
some state of affairs that one might help bring about by doing something
would be beneficial, worth bringing about.2
There is no universal rule to provide reasons for the decision in any
decision-making process. Though the law assumes otherwise, that decision-
makers will provide reasons. This duty to provide reasons differs in character
as only courts follow it in the requirements of the exercise of judicial power
while in administrative orders it is the discretion which makes it arbitrary.
Sometimes the reasons are given if provided under a particular statue or as
a matter of good practice. But the need is to make this general duty as a
mandatory duty under the law to provide reasons for every decision as this
is also an essential part of pri nciple of natural justice. While giving reasons
the decision-maker should keep in mind that the reasons should be simple
and logical. So that the people to whom orders are issued can understand
why and on what basis such a decision is reached at.3
A good decision will always provide the explanation and justification
behind it. Followings are the key objectives wh ich reasons bri ng in a decision
1. Fairness, which is brought in decisions by way of providing reasons.
If an individual knows why a decision is made, it satisfies his right to
2. Reason brings rationality in the process of decision-making.
3. Public gets confidence where the system works in a transparent
manner by way of providi ng reasons.
4. It also promotes accountability of government.
5. It strengthens the consistency in the process of decision-making.4
2 ibid 19.
3 Matt hew Groves, ‘Before the High Court Reviewing Reasons for Administrative
Decisions: Wingfoot Australia Pa rtners Pty Ltd v Kocak’ (2013) 35 Sydney Law Review
627, 627-628 p. 62 7-28 tp:/ /sydne /law /slr /slr_ 35/sl r35_3 /Gr oves.pdf >
accessed 3 March. 2015.
4 CL AYTON UTZ, ‘Good Decision-Making for Government Reasons for Decision’
(StudyLIB) 2 / 607/good-decision-making-for-government-
reasons-for> accessed 3 March 2015.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT