A Reasonable Decision

| Learning | December 15, 2016

(I’m a law student, taking a first-year politics class because it’s a requirement, despite the fact I know the subject. The lecturer for this particular unit is passionate about politics, but her knowledge in the area of law is somewhat dubious.)

Lecturer: “What we need to think about is how judges are held accountable. We can’t expect them to explain themselves constantly! It’s not like they can write out a reason for every decision they make and make that publicly available and be held accountable that way.”

Me: “Yes, they can.”

Lecturer: “It’s impractical! Think how many cases must be decided every year!”

Me: “It’s called ‘ratio decidendi.’ It literally translates to ‘reasons for the decision.’ They write it for every case. I’ve read at least a dozen.”

(My lecturer didn’t like me much after that.)

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