3.4 To ensure that the decisions of the court address clearly the issues presented to it and, where appropriate, to specify how compliance can be achieved.
Intent of the Objective
An order or decision that sets forth consequences or articulates rights but fails to tie the actual consequences resulting from the decision to the antecedent issues breaks the connection required for reliable review and enforcement. A decision that is not clearly communicated poses problems both for the parties and for judges who may be called upon to interpret or apply the decision. This objective implies that the disposition for each charge or count in a criminal complaint, for example, should be easy to discern, and that the terms of punishment and sentence should be clearly associated with each count upon which a conviction is returned. Non-compliance with court pronouncements and subsequent difficulties of enforcement sometimes occur because orders are not stated in terms that are readily understood and capable of being monitored. An order that requires a minimum payment per month on a restitution obligation, for example, is clearer and more enforceable than an order that establishes an obligation but sets no time frame for completion. Decisions in civil cases, especially those unraveling tangled webs of multiple claims and parties, should also clearly connect each issue and its consequences.
Responses To Objective