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Judicial Judgements made me cry

Case judgements are like death and taxes. You don't know how painful they are going to be until its too late. Anyone who has been a law student will know the feeling of impending doom when you realise that the case you are studying has 5 different judgements, and each is going to be more complicated than the last.

What's worse? you have no choice but to read them. Unless you are one of my fellow students who will read the wikipedia page and think that is sufficient, but that's a blog post for another day!

We all dread judgement day
There are some modern judges who have come to realise their primary audience; law students. Although its important to avoid dumbing down of a judgement, its essential to make it readable for a first year law student and the 'public'. I think this is all down to the language used, and the old adage that you shouldn't use 5 words where one will suffice.

Law is one of the few professions where academia and practice are still almost inseparable. As common law is created every day, any judge can find him or herself creating something that will face academic scrutiny. Apart from the necessity of giving a fair judgement, its this academic scrutiny that risks makes judges over compensate in order to satisfy the academics.

Another generic judgement related
image crow-barred in for your amusement
Judges ought to be focused on two things when writing their judgement. Firstly, justice to the parties involved. This almost goes without saying. Secondly, for the sake of lay-persons and law students, Accuracy + Brevity + Clarity (ABC <- CLICHE ALERT). If a judgement hits those ABC's, that's all that should be required to satisfy the purpose of a judgement.

We will never have members of the public reading legal judgements for enjoyment, but if we want to improve access to justice these judgements need to satisfy these ABC's.

What i am trying to say is; Fair Outcome, Access to Justice, and Academia should be prioritised in that order.

Inspiration taken from