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Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics.(Wikipedia)

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought." (John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (revised edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 3
Just or not, the law is still the law: no democracy or republic would be possible if people obeyed only laws they approved. True, but no democracy or republic would be acceptable if obedience required us to abjure justice or tolerate the intolerable(Comte-Sponville, 2001)

The nature of Justice

Plato defined justice as harmony or balance in the state (The Republic).

Many religions see Justice as a divine dictate. A famous paradox found in Plato's Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro: "Is the pious (right) loved by the gods because it is pious (right), or is it pious (right) because it is loved by the gods?" implying that either that justice is arbitrary or else morality exists on a higher order than God, who merely passes on moral knowledge.

John Locke beleived that justice was part of natural law - it involves the consequences that naturally derives from any action or choice.

In Plato's Republic, the character Thrasymachus argues that justice is the interest of the strong merely a name for what the powerful or cunning ruler has imposed on the people.

In the social contract notion of justice shared by Hobbes, Rousseau, and John Locke and more recently by John Rawls, there is an implied social contract that the people give up sovereignty to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law.

In A Theory of Justice John Rawls argues by way of a thought exercise, that if we were to choose how society was to be organized before we knew what natural endowments we were to possess , or what position we were to occupy in it, that we would choose to have the most extensive basic liberties compatible with libertise for all, fair access to opportunities for all and the greatest benefit to the least advantaged, consistent with the benefit of all. This liberal view of justice could be decided without regard to specific concepts of the good or right.

Distributive Theories of Justice

Theories of distributive justice have to anser there questions:

1. What goods are to be distributed? Wealth? Power? Status? Respect?

2. Between what entities are they to be distributed: Humans (are some to be excluded Slaves, Females etc), Sentient Beings, Members of a single society, Nations

3. What is the proper distribution:

Social Justice

Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating an egalitarian society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.(Wikipedia)

The goal of social justice is full and equal participation in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision in which distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychological safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining (able to develop their capacity) and independent (capable of interacting democratic with others). Social justice involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others, their society, and the world in which we live. These are conditions we wish not only for our own society but also every society in our interdependent global committee. (Adams, Bell, Griffin Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice)

Ontario Attorney General

Ontario Courts

Canadian Legal Information Institute

Ontario Justice Network

Special Investigation Unit

Office of the Independent Police Review Director

Justice of the Peace


Justice of the Peace Act

Role of the Justice of the Peace

Qualifications for JPAAC

Association of Justices of the Peace of Ontario, Brenna Brown, Moreland Lynn and Meena Nadkarni, Applicants v. Attorney General of Ontario


Quebec Civil Code


Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited
Beauchamp, Tom L and James F. Childress (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5th Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Comte-Sponville, Andre (2001) A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues, New York: henry holt and company
Grayling, A.C. (2009) Ideas that Matter, London: Orion Books Ltd
Gutmann, Amy and Dennis Thompson (1997) Democracy and disagreement, Why Moral conflict cannot be avoided in politics, and what should be done about it, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Nozick, R (1978) Anarchy, State and Utopia, London: Blackwelll Publishers
Rawls, John (1971) A Theory of Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Sandel, Michael J (1982, 1998) Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 2nd,Cambridge: University of Cambridge
Sandel, Michael J (2009) Justice, What's the Right Thing to Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux