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Flashcards in Justice Law And Punishment Deck (11):

Underlying principles of justice

Justice is about treating people equally and fairly
It is an important aspect of democracy

Plato argues justice is the way to happiest life
In a natural state we are all concerned with our own self interest and the strong impose notions of justice on the weak
This needs to be curbed



Difficult to define

Augustine 'equality must be something other than treating everyone in the same way since everyone is different'

Four main notions of equality
Fundamental equality eg by government
Social equality eg right to vote
Equal treatment for equals eg same group
Unequal in special circumstances e.g. Disabilities


Justice is difficult to achieve

Life is full of inequalities
Hume - justice system can't be based on what people deserve because we can't agree on what that is
People are unequal in what they have
Rich people better education
Inequalities cannot be overcome without a radical overhaul of the political system


How to balance inequalities by Marx

Tax the wealthy more heavily to provide better education for the less well off
Redistributive taxation allows the government to interfere with reasonable limits to contribute to overall equality


Restorative justice by Collin

Colson argues true justice is restorative justice whist for the utilitarian distributive justice should ensure greatest good for the greatest number


Authorities and the social contract

No justice without authority and has no meaning if the state cannot ensure that its laws are accepted and followed
The state must have sufficient power to ensure that citizens respect and obey the law

'Social contract' that citizens enter with the state, people agree to obey state and get security in return.


Scholars views on social contract

Hobbes, under such a contract the ruler has absolute power

Locke says nobody not even the ruler is above the law

J.s mill highlighted that it is important to protect minority groups. The harm principle -> the majority should only interfere if the minority
Are to do harm


Justice rights and duties

Rights and duties are inviolable and belong to each citizen- without them there's no justice

Five basis on which rights and duties bare established
Divine right - given by god
Natural right - eg food
Contract - taxes to pay for schools
Utilitarian - respecting rights of others
Totalitarian- right to drink alcohol

Human rights


The nature of law

Laws govern civilised society
Enforced by the state

Aquinas - law and justice are intrinsically linked and if a law is not just then the people are under no duty to obey it



In order for citizens to obey laws

To vindicate the law

Offender committed a crime as an autonomous moral ageht


Capital punishment

Abolished in U.K. In 1965
Still in us
Acts as a deterrent
Society can rid itself of bad people
Cheaper than prison
Innocents wrongly executed
Just as bad as a murderer