Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A fundamental concept in human society, the topic of justice, could take volumes to explore. This entry briefly examines three contexts in which justice applies today: civil or distributive justice; criminal or corrective justice; and international justice. Justice functions as both an ideal and a practical standard, so each section discusses theory and application. Broadly defined, justice is the measure of right and response to wrong—in other words, the fundamental measure and maintenance of integrity. It can be meted out as a policy or system, or it can be held as a virtue or ideal. Justice balances the integrity and rights of the individual with the collective needs of society and dictates the corresponding responsibilities or duties of society and individuals, as well as the essential rights of the individual. The nature of the balance between individual and collective is debated largely according to whether justice is considered a In ...