Meaning of Justice

What is Justice:

Justice is a set of essential values ​​on which a society and the State must be based. These values ​​are respect, fairness, equality and freedom.

In a formal sense, justice is the set of codified norms that the State, through the competent organisms, dictates, enforces and sanctions when they are disrespected, suppressing the action or inaction that generated the affectation of the common good.

The word justice comes from Latin iustitia which means "fair", and derives from the word ius.

Types of justice

There are four approaches or ways of applying justice:

Distributive justice

It is based on the equitable distribution of wealth or resources, in such a way that all citizens benefit.

It is a way of administering justice that comes from Aristotelian thought and whose application has been controversial in practice, since there is no unanimity on the criteria that must be considered so that said distribution is of benefit to all those involved.

For some authors, equity must be deprived (that each person obtain the wealth they deserve according to their effort). In other cases, the concept of equality prevails (all people should get the same amount), while other authors believe that wealth should be distributed more in the cases of greatest need.

Restorative justice

This type of justice focuses on the welfare of the victim rather than the punishment of the perpetrator. In this sense, what is sought is to repair the damage caused in a material or symbolic way.

According to this approach, the victim and the perpetrator must be involved in the search for justice. To do this, the perpetrator must understand and acknowledge the damage he has caused.

An example of restorative justice is the Victim and Offender Reconciliation Programs (Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs), established in communities in the United States and Canada in which the parties involved meet, talk about what happened and how it affected them, and agree on how to restore the damage caused.

Procedural justice

This type of justice establishes norms and rules that must be respected by all people equally, and establishes sanctions of various kinds in the event that citizens are at fault.

To exercise this type of justice it is necessary to have an impartial criterion, while to be prosecuted for it requires the representation of an expert in the matter, that is, a lawyer.

The administration of procedural justice is carried out in the courts and in the bodies created by the State for this purpose.

Retributive justice

Retributive justice establishes that each person must be treated in the same way that he treats others, therefore, when committing a fault, he must be punished. What is expected of this type of justice is that the retroactive effect will persuade other people to commit crimes.

An example of retributive justice would be human rights violations, in which, although the perpetrators do not always receive immediate punishment, they are eventually punished by local justice or by international organizations.

See also:

  • Ius.
  • Impunity.

social justice

The term "social justice" does not have a clear origin, but it is known that it began to be implemented in the 18th century in Europe to refer to the norms that had to be met in order to maintain social order.

In that sense, part of the obligations of a monarch were to establish what would be the laws or rules that would allow coexistence and their respective sanctions in case of being violated.

However, the term acquired new connotations at the end of the 19th century with the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, the consequent capitalism and the new economic and social dynamics. At that time, the British socialist movement would adopt the concept to propose a balanced distribution of goods within a society, which is reminiscent of the Aristotelian vision of distributive justice.

In 1919, at the end of the First World War, the World Labor Organization incorporated this notion in the first article of its constitution, stating that permanent peace is only possible if it is based on social justice.

While in 1931, the Catholic Church mentioned the term for the first time in its Social Doctrine, used by Pope Pius XI, who expressed that social justice should be applied in such a way as to reduce the gap between the wealthy and the poorest.

On the other hand, in 2007 the United Nations Organization proclaimed February 20 of each year as World Day of Social Justice.

See also:

  • Social justice.
  • 6 examples of social justice that will make you smile.

Justice as value

Justice as a value is the moral principle of each individual who decides to live by giving each one what is due or belongs to him. Justice is part of social, moral and democratic values, hence its importance.

Justice is a virtue that all individuals must put into practice consistently and in pursuit of both their own good and that of society.

What is expected is that each individual respects established social norms and contributes to the maintenance of a harmonious environment. And in a situation of injustice, the ideal is for each person to act with rectitude and impartiality.

To achieve this, it is necessary that justice be a value instilled by the family, reinforced by educational institutions, respected and protected by the State and its institutions and put into practice by society.

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