Justice Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Justice, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Justice?

fairness. Something which is morally right. The administration of law so as to protect the rights of the person or thing.

History and Meaning of Justice

Justice is a philosophical and moral principle that has been the subject of debate for centuries. Historically, justice was often understood as the byproduct of divine intervention, with gods or other supernatural beings determining what was fair and right. However, as societies became more complex, justice evolved into a legal concept, with laws and judicial systems put in place to ensure that individuals and institutions are held accountable for their actions.

Today, justice refers to the idea of fairness and the protection of individual rights. It is commonly used in legal and social contexts to describe situations where individuals or institutions are held accountable for their actions and are punished or rewarded accordingly.

Examples of Justice

  • A court ruling that a defendant is guilty and sentencing them to prison time is an example of justice being served for a crime committed.
  • A company paying a settlement to an employee who was wrongfully terminated is an example of justice being served in the workplace.
  • A country providing reparations to a group of people who were historically oppressed is an example of justice being served on a larger societal scale.

Legal Terms Similar to Justice

  • Equity: A legal principle that refers to fairness and justice in situations where the application of the law may result in an unjust outcome.
  • Due process: The legal principle that individuals are entitled to certain procedural protections in legal proceedings to ensure that justice is served fairly and impartially.
  • Civil rights: The legal protections afforded to individuals to ensure that they are treated fairly and equally under the law regardless of their race, gender, religion, or other defining characteristic.