A judge must decide cases according to the law. A written judgment allows the parties to scrutinize the reasoning and form an opinion as to whether or not the law was properly applied. If the judge has made a mistake, it can be appealed. Without reasons, a judge is a tyrant and his judgment is arbitrary. With reasons, a judge is a careful legal technician and the defeated party is reassured that society considers his rights sacred and solemn, and his interests were only judged against in accordance with the written law to which both parties were equally subject.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove