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Inadequate Reasons

This 'inadequate reasons' section deals with the principle that decisions (for orders, judgments and similar) should, with rare exceptions, be accompanied by the judge's or adjudicator's 'Reasons for Decision'. In my opinion, this is a vexed area of law because of the court's refusal to set out the following long-standing principle [R v Sheppard (SCC, 2002)]:
[28] ... The simple underlying rule is that if, in the opinion of the appeal court, the deficiencies in the reasons prevent meaningful appellate review of the correctness of the decision, then an error of law has been committed.
Absence of such 'reasons' simply leaves one in ignorance of the basis for the ruling, what everyone involved should do legally and factually do different in future - and with a profound loss of trust in the legal system. Indeed, without written reasons, the common law can't exist.

Reasons - R v Sheppard (SCC, 2002)
Reasons - Post Sheppard SCC Cases

Reasons - Adequate Reasons Discussed (1)
Reasons - Adequate Reasons Discussed (2)
Reasons - Adequate Reasons Discussed (3)

Reasons - May Be Inferred from the Record
Reasons - Degree of Canvassing Evidence
Reasons - Legal Sufficiency
Reasons - Third Party Copying
Reasons - When a Duty?
Reasons - Inadequate Reasons Not a Free-Standing Ground of Appeal?
Reasons - Not Reflected in Pleadings

Reasons - Inadequate Reasons and Administrative Fairness

Inadequate Reasons in Judicial Review

In a very important sense, 'reasons for decision' was the essential issue underlying the recent key Vavilov (SCC, 2019) case. Vavilov promoted 'reasonableness' to the central role in the standard of review applicable to judicial review. Vavilov has set out extensive case guidance on 'reasonableness', and therefore the required contents of adequate 'reasons for decision' - at least for judicial reviews which overwhelmingly involve administrative law.

Now, when a court considers a judicial review (JR) on the issue of 'inadequate reasons', the issues are much the same as those they would consider regarding the JR standard of review (SOR) [see s.5 'Standard of Review' in this Judicial Review Guide]. The allocation of the cases between the two Guide sections follows the court's own allocation - ie. whether they characterize the issue as a 'standard of review' issue, or an 'inadequate reason' issue.

Judicial Review - Reasons (1)


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