The Mean, Harmonious Decision-Making and the Case of Sally Challen

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The task of legal decision-making sits at the very heart of the legal system as a direct representation of how Law expresses itself as a social system. In order for Law to get its expression right and avoid wrongful convictions or miscarriages of justice, the endeavour of legal-decision making is one which must be pursued with balance and harmony. This article argues that pursuing balance and harmony in legal-decision making allows for the legal decision-making process to be anchored at a mean between Law’s competing extremes. It is further argued that the anchoring of the legal decision-making process at a mean point between Law’s extremes ensures that the subject individual in any given case is not lost to Law. Both these arguments are demonstrated through an analysis of the recent Court of Appeal decision in R v Challen [2019] EWCA Crim 916 – an authority which this article highlights as an example of the kind of harmonious decision-making which can be achieved through the pursuit of balance and a mean in legal decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2020


  • Miscarriage of Justice
  • criminal justice system
  • Law
  • Legal Decision-Making
  • Sally Challen


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