Law vs. Justice

Essay by dkogaUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2007

download word file, 14 pages 3.0

AbstractBoth law and justice convey broad meaning with profound implication. However, with respect to our class, law refers to a set of rules and principles established by custom, agreement or authority, if broken, subjects a party to criminal punishment or civil liability. Justice is the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals under the law.

The law is a standard to judge by. While it is open to human interpretation and may be defined by the political philosophy of the interpreter, it differs from justice in that it provides a framework of what is a right or wrong conduct. Law is precise and is the mechanism by which society enforces acceptable behavior while justice is philosophical and circumstantial and is influenced by the environments, believes and experiences.

LawAs jurisprudence shows, legal philosophy has many aspects, with formalism, realism, positivism and naturalism being the most prominent. Legal formalism treats law like math or science where the relevant legal principles is first identified and next applied to the facts of the case and finally deduced a ruling that governs the outcome of a dispute.

Formalist such as Ronald Dworkin believed that law is a rational and cohesive system of principles that judges must apply with integrity and that the application of this principle will produce a right answer in all cases. Legal formalism seeks to maintain a separation of rules and principles from political and social experience of the judge.

Legal realism on the other hand challenges the orthodox view that law is a science and as an autonomous system of rules and principles that courts can logically apply in an objective fashion to reach a determinate and apolitical decision. Realist maintains that common-law adjudication is an inherently subjective system that produces inconsistent and incoherent results that are based on the political,