Defining Justice

What Does Justice Mean?
Define and discuss the meaning of justice. 

Introduction

You have just begun a lesson on justice. But what is justice, anyway? Justice can have many aspects and contexts. When people think of justice, they may think of different things—the court system, crime and punishment, laws, ethics, social justice, environmental justice, civil rights, economic opportunity, etc.
 

For this lesson, we will use the definition of justice below. Read the definition and reflect on the discussion points that follow.
 

Definition of Justice

Behavior or treatment in accordance to what is morally right and fair.

Discuss

  1. How does this definition compare with your definition?
     

  2. One aspect of justice is how to “correct” past injustice. In fact, this is largely what our justice system is intended to do—decide what remedies victims should receive and what penalties offenders should face.
     

  3. Think about the justice system. The government expends a lot of effort and resources to maintain it. Why? What is its value to society? More generally, what is the role and value of justice in society?

Next Up:

QUOTES ABOUT JUSTICE

ACTIVITY

Read quotes about justice and analyze what they reveal about justice.

CASE STUDY: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN REDRESS MOVEMENT

CLOSE-UP

Learn about the quest for redress following the Japanese American incarceration during WWII.

JUSTICE IN THE NEWS

ACTIVITY

Find and summarize a news article on a current event related to justice.

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