Modern law reform often abandons the attempt to formulate principles but whenever difficulties arise confer discretions on judges and administrators. Such rules tend to be open ended providing discretion to the judge or the administrators. This creates more problems than rules which work only in a majority of situations.
Discretions to judges means that the law is uncertain. Parties cannot act in accordance with law because they do not know what the law is. When a problem arises they cannot themselves, without the help of lawyers, work out a solution to their differences. If the discretion is too widely conferred, a lawyer may be of no use.
Discretions to quasi-judicial bodies and to individuals conferred by statute create even more problems, uncertainties and greater injustice. When a problem arises they cannot themselves, even with the help of lawyers, work out a solution to their differences.
Law reformers criticise severely the uncertainties contained in judicial principles. They fail to realise that discretions contained in legislation which replaces common law are far, far wider and greater.