The Virtue of Justice and the Character of Law

John Gardner

in Law as a Leap of Faith

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695553
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741296 | DOI:
The Virtue of Justice and the Character of Law

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This chapter resists the idea that there is such a thing as formal justice, and in particular that any such thing is associated with law or its administration. Justice has forms, but no norms of justice are constituted by their form alone. All are ‘substantive’. Is justice, so understood, connected with law? This chapter offers a somewhat deflationary version of the connection. Questions of justice are necessarily encountered by courts, or by most courts, and courts encountering such questions should perhaps be just above all. But there is no reason to think that law should be just above all. It should be many other things besides, and justice has no special priority among them. The argument for this conclusion helps us to get clearer what exactly justice is.

Keywords: justice; equity; formal; substantive; procedural; distributive; corrective; virtues

Chapter.  13072 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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