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Issues of Justice - Essay Example

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For theorist John Rawls, “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions” ( 1999). But today it is faced by many issues. And so, it is timely that the concept of justice and its impact on issues be clarified. Definition of justice Seen as a foundation stone of morality, justice is nominally described as “the constant will and disposition to give each one his due” (Montemayor 101). More properly, it is defined as “”the principle of rectitude and fairness in men’s relation with each other”(101). From the aforesaid, two essential attributes of justice may be observed, namely universality and equality. Universality requires justice for all without bias. Meanwhile, equality demands justice equitably distributed regardless of class or position. These attributes require the application of laws without discrimination or without playing favorites. It is noted by moralists that all laws, either human or divine, are reducible to the universal principles of justice. Giving God His due through love is a summary of the Ten Commandments. The right to life, liberty and security of person is ensured by the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Killing, stealing, adultery are violations of justice owed to life, property and integrity. Types of justice The concept of justice is not simple, and so there is a need to list its classification based relationships among individuals, as well as individuals with institutions such as the state. Commutative. This is justice based on mutuality of rights and duties. Everyone should give to others what belongs to them. For example an assault to honor through libel, that ruins someone’s good name, is a violation of commutative justice (Oswald, 1). Distributive. This is justice assigned to the state, which must fulfill certain duties to its citizens. For example, government should provide support for free education, promote social justice, protect workers, etc. Organizational. This relates to justice for people in organizations, such as on matters of wages, promotions and privileges. (Tabibnia, et al., 339). Restorative. Offenders are urged to take responsibility and repair the damage done through apology, return of stolen items, community service, etc. (Parade, 6) Retributive. There must be appropriate punishment for a crime. Utilitarianists look forward for benefits for those who amend for their crimes; retributionists look back with an eye for atoning damage done, e.g. law of an eye for an eye (Cavadino, 39). Social. Sparked by labor movements, a just society is viewed to be based on equality and solidarity, e.g. giving quality of work life to workers (Zajda, et al. 4721). Spatial. There is a need to achieve socio-spatial--geographical distribution of the workers’ needs, e.g. access to healthcare, good air quality, rest period, etc. Dynamics of justice and issues How do issues affect justice, and how does justice respond to issues? Issues create an impact on the justice system. For example, since the 60s, gays sought dignity owed to them. It was a hide-and-seek affair especially in the military. The dent, however, was made with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the Clinton administration. Subsequently in 2012, President Obama allowed openness for being gay and the right of gay soldiers to serve without encountering bigotry in the U.S. military. Due to its dynamism, justice responds to issues. This is done by the justice system processing ...Show more


The Dynamics of Justice and Social Issues This paper is about the concept of justice which has gained great prominence in today’s world affairs. More and more individuals in societies call for justice, and so do nations of the world. Besides, many raging issues surround the justice system, challenging institutions and laws…
Author : hbarrows
Issues of Justice essay example
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