The thesis gains importance because present day Governments and Judicial systems should adopt the best available social and economic justice theory in their efforts to ensure fairness in justice delivery. Justice in this context does not confine to justice delivered in courts alone but also concerns the justice a common man is entitled in his day to day life. Courts are concerned with rule of law alone. The courts are expected to delver judgments tempered with economic and social justice to iron out differences due to unjust inequalities among people. If a law is unfair, courts are sometimes unable to reverse it because of the supremacy of law making power of the elected body. Courts can still guide the law making body to ensure observing the principles of economic and social justice while enacting laws. It is the law makers who are more concerned about how far the rules are socially and economically justifiable.
Seemingly perfect law may not be really so if it is deeply gone into for which exercise knowledge of theories of justice is necessary. Not only is the law maker should know but also the members of the society so that if they are affected in toto or a particular section of the society is affected by an unfair practice or law, they can voice their concern.
The three theories of justice that one must be concerned with are Utilitarianism, Justice as fairness, and Libertarianism in one's effort to find answer to the questions raised here. That is whether an individual is entitled to justice in direct proportion to his individual efforts.
Utilitarianism theory posits that a society should have laws and institutions aimed to bring about general satisfaction for its constituents. As there is no instrument to measure the satisfaction, the utilitarianism finds it indirectly through the propositions of what is good for the members and what are the means to achieve it. Firstly the basic needs of human being such as food, shelter, protection should be satisfied. Aristotle laid the foundation of this utilitarian concept by holding that human actions actions are driven by their rational choices in order to realize their basic needs. Hence basic needs realization is the reflection of the utilitarian theory which satisfies the above said conditions of human good for overall happiness of the society's members. John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and Henry Sidgwick were the Utilitarians of the 19th century.
John Stuart Mill held on the lines of Aristotle that human happiness depended upon liberties in speech and action as well as economic prosperity. He insisted wealth was indispensable to realize the human expectations. Utilitarians therefore wanted free education funded by public money through levy of taxes, both capitalist and mixed economy, protection of all kinds of liberties and a democratically elected form of Government. An objection to this was made by John Rawls in his A Theory of Justice 1971(pp.23-4) since institutions envisaged can turn out to be unjust. Because when the analogy of an individual's sacrificing for his future gains is applied to the society's sacrifice for the present for future benefits as can happen in the utilitarian way of