The Importance of Justice in Society Essay

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The Importance of Justice in Society

One component of the definition of justice is the final outcome of the process of the law, whereby justice is distributed by the State. According to this definition, justice is the mechanical process of the structure of law – set in place and agreed to by the people of the State. Another definition is concerned with the value inherent in ‘just’ behavior. One distinction between these two definitions is the difference between an individual viewpoint and the larger view of the society. Either view incorporates the concept of moral judgment; ‘good’ as opposed to ‘bad.’

Man has recognized the importance of justice in his society since the earliest of times. In order to serve justice, there has to be a law to settle differences among the people of the state. The history of law in relation to society reveals that humanity’s earliest efforts at lawmaking were prompted by the basic desire of self-preservation. Although engulfed by a society that necessitated such combinations as clans and tribes for protection, as well as for social and economic advancement, the nature of the individual led to the development of certain expressed general rights with regard to person and property1. Generally, these unwritten rules governing social and economic interaction recognized the right to defend oneself from injury as well as to enjoy property without outside interference. While sufficient for primitive societies, unwritten rules of social control were ineffective in a rapidly developing society. So, an effort was made to clarify them so that all the people would know their definitions, limits, and applications.

After reading Fuller’s Speluncean Explorers fictional case and seeing the conflict...

... middle of paper ...

...een the poor and rich, the weak and the strong. To fight poverty the state should spend more money on education, employment, and child welfare. The state must give the individual his rightful place of dignity as a free man equal to all his fellow men where he shall have the right to live under a rule of law based on a sense of obligation. In that society, respect for law must be the cohesive force holding it together and not mere obedience based on surrender to the weapons of state power.


Fuller, Lon L. The Law as Literature. Wofford Press, Toronto. 1978.

Swift, Jonatham. The Complete Works. Oxford Univesity Press, New York, 1987.

Smith, Alexander B. Crime and Justice in a Mass Society. Xerox College Publication,
Massachusetts, 1972.

Waldron, Ronald J. The Criminal Justice System: an introduction. Houghton Mifflin,
Boston, 1976.

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