dear Santa



It’s not easy for me to write this letter.


I have been an admirer of yours for many years.  I have been impressed with the way you have embraced reform within your own organisation, and not shied away from making brave decisions.


I have always wondered at your ability to judge who is naughty and who is nice. Despite the millions of kids you have to assess on an annual basis, it amazes me how often you get it just right.  But I worry about the way you have set things up. I worry about the potential for abuse of the process in determining who is good and who is bad.


I respect your judgement in most matters, but we all make mistakes from time to time. You may have magical powers, but let’s not pretend you’re perfect. Nobody is.


I don’t mean to cast aspersions on your competence or integrity. But what would happen if you weren’t here? Should you eventually decide to hang up your red suit, or (heaven forfend!) one day suffer a terrible sleigh accident, we cannot assume that your successor will be as capable or fair-minded as you have shown yourself to be.


It’s no wonder that most adjudicative processes allow a right of appeal or review. If a court or tribunal gets it wrong, the aggrieved party will normally have a right to appeal the decision. So I would ask you to consider establishing a tribunal to hear appeals from children whom you have decided are too naughty to receive any Christmas gifts.



I know you’re a busy man, especially at this time of year. The last thing I want to do is add to your workload during such a frantic period. So in order to help move this idea forward, I have attached a memorandum setting out in detail how an appeal tribunal might operate, and how an appeal process might work.


Let me give you a very brief summary of my memorandum…Read More 




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