Justice - Term Overview

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Justice is, broadly speaking, the virtue of giving everyone what is due. This can be used taking into account the limitations of justice as a power or, establishing what is equitable based on what is reasonable.

Justice in the judicial sphere

Within the judicial sphere, this concept is used to refer to the rules and norms that determine the actions of people and institutions based on authorizations, prohibitions and obligations that must be respected.

For the establishment of these conditions, societies usually take as a basis the consensus coming from the majority of the individuals in a society with respect to what is considered as bad and good.

These norms and rules are usually formulated and put in writing by the members of the legislative branch of each district whose main function is precisely this.

The word "justice" is also used to refer to the judicial power, one of the three powers of the State. This is the one in charge of applying the existing legal norms in the different conflicts that arise within a society. In this way they have the function of administering justice.

Justice in philosophy

Justice has been a topic addressed by various thinkers throughout history. One of them was Plato, who considers it the harmony of society. His disciple Aristotle considers him, on the other hand, as proportional equal, which means giving each one what is due and this has to do with their needs, contributions to society and their own merits.

Another author who addressed the subject was Santo Tomás de Aquino, who has a different appreciation of the concept of justice since he considers it as a natural law. This is why people have natural rights that have been granted by God.

What is social justice?

Social justice refers to a balanced distribution of assets within a community. This concept arises by chance in the nineteenth century with the emergence of capitalist societies where labor claims and social unrest increased.

- For the socialists: It's the State that must guarantee that the disadvantaged social classes have the possibility to develop and that there is respect for human rights.
- For liberals: Rather, it's achieved if private sector initiatives are protected and if the necessary opportunities are created.

The objective principal of social justice is then that within a market society no few who have much and many who have little, but there is one equal opportunities for all and each of the individuals.

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