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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 different in future - and with a profound loss of trust in the legal system. Indeed, without written reasons, stare decisis (not to mention the common law) can't exist.

In one very important sense, 'reasons for decision' was the essential issue underlying the recent crucial Vavilov (SCC, 2019) case. Vavilov promoted 'reasonableness' to the central role in the standard of review applicable to judicial review. Although the SCC (being excruciatingly conservative) in Vavilov didn't taken that final 'Sheppard plunge' to require all decisions to have written reasons accompany them, with Vavilov we are a now step closer. Meantime, recognize that 'reasonableness' is a central modern goal in decision-making - as is made evident by the large increase in 'inadequate reason' appeals and JRs.

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 - Degree of Canvassing Evidence
Reasons - Legal Justification
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


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