What Is Justice?

A careful and wide-ranging analysis of the question of what is justice can be found in Plato’s Republic. For example, in the dialogue between the narrator Socrates and his counterpart Cephalus, Socrates provokes Cephalus to say something, spinning his response into the idea that justice is telling the truth and repaying debts.

Legal justice

A humanistic conception of legal justice would move adjudication towards well-being and just social arrangements. Legal economists support this view. However, there are also other views of legal justice. One such perspective argues that law is a moral institution that should be kept in mind while practising law. However, this view is controversial and requires further exploration.

Legal justice aims to restore fairness to the law. Its purpose is to provide a standard set of rules and objective measures of morality. As such, wrongful acts are made illegal and punished according to their degree of injustice. Law would not exist if all issues were black and white. Consequently, legal justice is a critical component of ensuring fairness in society.

Legal justice has two main dimensions: the formulation and application of just laws and the enforcement of these laws. Just laws should not reflect the will of the ruling power but should reflect the needs and opinions of the public. They should also reflect social values. Laws that contradict social values are often not considered and cause enforcement problems.

Social justice also deals with the issue of inequality in society. Similarly, a social justice advocate will educate the public about oppressed people and fight for their rights.

Retributive justice

Retributive justice is a shared philosophy that punishes criminals for their actions. It often involves using imprisonment, loss of life, or property as punishment. However, this principle can be problematic as it can lead to unjust punishments. It is also important to note that different areas of society may have varying retributive justice policies.

The use of corrective measures is typically biased towards in-group offenders. This is because people expect members of the group to share values. However, these expectations are not shared in the case of an out-group member. Therefore, it is necessary to establish value consensus for a person to be considered a part of a group.

People may feel a strong need to punish for high-severity crimes, regardless of their personal feelings about the offender. In a forced choice, they will usually choose retribution over restoration. This is because their intuition favours punishing the offender, and the vital justice option is unlikely to appeal to them.

People’s response to wrongdoing may depend on two factors: the crime’s severity and the harm caused. The crime’s severity and the perpetrator’s shared identity may also play a role in the severity of the response. In particular, high-severity crimes committed by group members may elicit calls for retributive justice and restoration. Studying these factors will better understand how people respond to the justice system.