TL:DR #19 Lack of Reasons Implies Lack of Justice

World Injustice Part of Daily Life

Our world and our people in it continue to create, experience or observe injustices many of which become a norm due to frequency or circumstance, and others are highlighted as unusual due to concentration of media coverage, the perceived importance or narratives surrounding the events.

Within the framework of these unjust events, world and domestic orders are managed by a complex fabric of interwoven legal regimes, codified and common law systems, criminal and penal codes which vary in their definitions and scope, and vary in the degree to which a crime is measured and punished, according to local and international societal norms and law.

Being Gay Can be a Crime or Cause for Acknowledgment of Personal Freedoms – Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom

There are many deviations to the so-called international law order by way of ‘exclusions’ and ‘exceptions’ which are negotiated or mandated by states prior to signing or agreeing to treaties and instrumental legal instruments.

For example, in a particular country, regard might be applied to a certain ‘bundle’ of human rights, but if a person engages in a ‘homosexual act’ this may be criminalized and result in corporal punishment, sometimes in public to ‘humiliate’ the ‘criminal’ as is still the case, although often debated[1] , in Singapore[2]. In many countries, where taboos of the past have evolved into enlightened acceptance of freedoms, being homosexual is a norm of sexual orientation, and it is horrific for those societies to contemplate the parts of the world where a personal choice is considered criminal and worthy of physical sanction and humiliation.

However, certain countries ‘permit’ homosexuality, such as Thailand, but have not gone so far as to yet permit the legal recognition of civil partnerships to empower those in same-sex relationships to benefit from laws of successorship and other benefits granted to non-same-sex married persons[3]. In other countries, such as the U.K, which in the past introduced anti-gay laws into Singapore and evolved its laws through anti-homosexuality acts in 1533, through to positive non-discrimination acts in 2004 and 2010, permitting the acquisition of new birth certificates for persons changing gender and protecting LGBT employees from discrimination, harassment and victimization at work[4].

This area of society is not the only one ripe for potential injustice, inconsistent treatment of humans based on historical, cited ‘cultural’ or religious beliefs, designed or resultantly persecuting people for their choices.

Deviating from World Order – Invading a Sovereign State

Another current example of variation from a world order is the invasion of the Ukraine[5].

However, and many commentators appear to have forgotten this important fact, the extent to which there has been a violation, and the outcome of those violations, must be heard in a competent court with jurisdiction, and with such hearings to be conducted in fair circumstances, free of bias, prejudice, independent of the issues at stake, free from conflicts of interest, and with regards to applicable law and justice.

Further, Russia has not accepted nor become a member of the International Criminal Court and therefore may reject jurisdiction and assert immunity[6].

It is not possible, no matter how many Ukrainian flag posts are hoisted upon social media, in a worthy show of moral support for the party and persons suffering the most in these circumstances, to wrap up the matter in a Kangaroo court of self-righteousness, indulgence of presumption and anti-Russian, anti-Ukrainian, anti-supporter sentiment.

This is not the manner in which most people would like themselves or their countries to be judged or analysed in an international court of law, and therefore, whilst humanitarian aid is deployed, and yes – if necessary

military support and justified protection of citizens and world peace is also necessary, the judgment and conclusions cannot be rendered by society in general. Instead, we must consider the analysis of the forums of law we have accepted as part of our world order [7]. We can make some pre-emptive conclusions, we can state if we believe that violence is right, wrong, justified, abhorrent, cruel, genocidal and we can hold opinions, express them and debate them. However, we cannot conclude, legally, on the overall status of violation of rights and justice.

Reasons and Rational Critical Thinking are the Bedrock of Justice

As a parent or guardian, mentor or any person with responsibility to supervise, develop, train or educate another person, when carrying out an act which is perceived by the recipient to be worthy of challenge, the provision of a reason provides opportunity to assess fairness.

A developing child may question a rule repeatedly with the response ‘why?’. A parent, guardian, educator or mentor may exhaust their explanations and be tempted to try and conclude the set of explanations with ‘…because I said so.’ To provide such an answer is a shortcut to providing rational explanations and is a blunt method of bringing any debate to a swift end. Whilst time pressure may cause such a response and if a series of explanations have been given but unreasonably rejected, a more curt answer may then be more justifiable, to provide such a response without having first attempted to provide reasons, and to permit fair discussion on the reasons, would be a dangerous norm to develop. “You are may slave because I say so”. “You are being underpaid because I can get away with it.” “I will torture you because you did something against my religious beliefs, regardless of what yours are.”. These are all dangerous products of a failure to provide justifiable reasons and allow debate.

Arbitration and Providing Reasons

The more sophisticated but understandable a reason for a judgment, the more likely it is to be accepted, even by the so-called ‘losing’ party. That justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done[8] is also of crucial importance in international arbitration of disputes through the use and disclosure of critical reasoning[9]. The ‘standard’ of justice provided by an arbitral tribunal determined whether an award is flawed and needs to be corrected, or worst, hasn’t been rendered properly and may not be enforceable as a result.

An arbitrator incapable of critical reasoning and communicating rational reasons is therefore an impediment to justice.

If you take the time to observe lawyers, litigators and others in the professional field, you will unfortunately observe much irrational, egotistical, immature, self-interested, abusive and toxic behaviour[10], just as you would observe by sitting on the roadside, the entrance to a school or place of worship, and observing the manner in which people drive and treat others such as pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing[11]. Through such observation, it would seem rational to conclude that persons who regularly indulge in such behaviour are not fit to be the legal judge of a situation, dispute and to render an ‘award’ of an outcome to one party and to deny such to another. The foundations of their thinking, and their behaviour, are manifestly unsuitable for deployment in an area where the parties are seeking justice.

None of us should be complacent to our own weaknesses and that of others, and if we develop our maturity, our fairness, eliminate our bias and prejudice as much as we are able, think independently, and when delivering an opinion ensure we are able to at least sincerely justify it without barbaric insults or milder passive aggressive inclinations, then we may foster an environment of fairness conducive to the resolution of disputes, through just means, on a day to day basis, in politics, society, culture, domestic and international courts of law, at our dining tables and even, perhaps, on social media exchanges.

[1] Singapore’s high court retains and anti-gay law (The Economist, 5 March 2022 see: )

[2] Jamie Wareham Singapore Upholds Colonial Anti-Gay Laws: Being Gay Remains Illegal for 5.7 Million People (Forbes Online 30 March 2020 see:

[3] Bang Khunthian to register same-sex marriages on Valentine’s Day (Bangkok Post Online 11 February 2022 see: note that the

[4] Steven Dryden A short history of LGBT rights in the UK (British Library, undated, see: last accessed 7 March 2022)

[5] Anthony Dworkin International law and the invasion of Ukraine (25 February 2022 European Council on Foreign Relations see: last accessed 7 March 2022)

[6] ibid 6.

[7] Permanent Court of International Justice International Court of Justice – History (see: last accessed 7 March 2022)

[8] Lord Justice Gordon Hewart The King v Sussex Justices (1923) “It is not merely of some importance but it is fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

[9] Antonio Crivellaro, Mélida N.Hodgson Explaining Why You Lost (International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Dossiers, ICC Institute of World Business Law ICC Publication: 810E 2020)

[10] Abby Young-Powell “I was sworn at and tole I was useless’: law’s problem with bullying at work (The Guardian Online 15 May 2019)

[11] Atiya Achakulwisut When zebra crossings become death traps (Bangkok Post Online 25 January 2022 see: last accessed 7 March 2022)

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