The relation between Law and Justice is quite deep and initially difficult to explain. Law is more commonly understood while Justice is a term capable of several definitions.
Perhaps the best way to understand the connection between Law and Justice is the following: Law is the science of the ways people agree to regulate behavior within a community while Justice is the art of practicing law.
Therefore, people may agree or disagree about a Law, but it is usually written down or so commonly accepted as “common law” that the Law itself is a fixed object. Laws can be changed. There are numerous ways to change Laws: through legislation, through Court judgements that set precedents or actually change the wording and meaning of the Law, or through abolishment.
Laws are written rules and regulations which is established and enforced by the government and its entities. Each country has its own laws applied to all states
For example, there were Laws in certain societies that encouraged the slavery of human beings by other human beings. Under the slavery laws, a slave was “property” to be kept or sold like any other property of the owner.
Changing cultural norms, anti-slavery agitations, the coming of increasing mechanization, and slave rebellions supported by sympathizers all caused the Slave Laws to be abolished.
From this example, it can be seen that "LAW" is “…the officially promulgated rule of conduct, backed by state-enforced penalties for their transgression” This explains the common expression: “…The Rule of Law…”
The practice of the Law and its impact on people’s lives, individually or as a group or class of people is where the Art of Justice is found.
''JUSTICE'' can be defined as “rendering to each person what he or she deserves under the Law.” The Art of Justice comes when opposing advocates and the Judge(s) have to determine what a person deserves.
Under the various Slavery Laws of different cultures and different countries, the enslaved person deserved to be enslaved and the slave owner had property rights they deserved to be respected by those who believed in the Rule of Law.
However, in the end, no amount of the art of justice could reconcile the enslaved to being a slave and so the Law was changed. This was both by legislation as well as sometimes violence.
Sir John Salmond, jurist, and Dr. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School, have defined Law in terms of Justice. According to Salmond, “Law may be defined as the body of principles recognized and applied by the State in the administration of justice.” Roscoe Pound states, “Law is the body of principles recognized or enforced by public and regular tribunals in the administration of justice.”
The different types of justice they define are Natural Justice, Economic Justice, and Legal Justice.
Natural Justice is “…a concept of common law which represents higher procedural principles developed by the courts, which every judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative agency must follow while taking any decision adversely affecting the rights of a private individual.”
Economic justice is “a set of moral principles for building economic institutions, the ultimate goal of which is to create an opportunity for each person to create a sufficient material foundation upon which to have a dignified, productive, and creative life beyond economics.”
Legal Justice is “…is exercised in fulfillment of existing Law.” This is what is commonly known as “…justice according to law….”
Both Law and Justice regulate large areas of human behavior, trying to create an equal environment. Therefore, laws must be based on the practice of justice.
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