R. v. MOD, ex p. Murray [1998]

Defendant in court charged
with offence against person.
One of his arguments had been
rejected by court without reasons being given.
Divisional Court gave
overview of principles to be derived from Cunningham,
Doody
and Dental Surgery.
         
No general duty to give reasons.
         
In absence of requirement to give reasons, person
seeking reasons must show that not giving reasons was unfair.
Following are some of factors
that will count in favour of requirement to give reasons:
         
Absence of any right of appeal.
         
If it is important there should be effective means
of detecting kind of error which would allow court to intervene.
         
Fact that tribunal is carrying out judicial
function.
         
Fact that personal liberty concerned.
Finally:
         
Even though fairness may require giving of
reasons, may be considerations of public interest outweighing this.
         
If giving of decision without reasons is
insufficient to achieve justice, then reasons should be required.
         
If decision appear aberrant, then reasons should
be required.
In applying these principles
to present case, fairness did require reasons should be given for court’s conclusion.