Law vs Justice
The concepts of justice and law are so intertwined that it is hard to imagine one without the other. In fact, the image of a blindfolded lady holding a scale in her hand comes straight to our mind when we try to visualize the two concepts. Equal justice under the law is a common phrase that assures people of fairness of the system of law and the deliverance of justice irrespective of class, caste, or creed. However, upon closer inspection, there seem to be differences between the two concepts of law and justice that will be talked about in this article.
Throughout history, mankind has tried to suppress deviant behaviors through taboos, norms, and finally laws. While social norms have a religious and social sanction, laws are written rules and regulations that try to maintain peace and order in the society by keeping individuals away from deviant behavior. While there are laws having universal appeal, there are also laws that have cultural influences. Laws are enacted by elected members of the legislative assembly of the place after much deliberation and passage. These legislations become laws after they get assent from the President.
Laws have traditionally been a tool in the hands of a government to ensure compliance from the members of the society. Laws have coercive powers as they are backed by the courts and police.
The entire legal system that includes laws and all the paraphernalia including the lawyers and the courts is based upon the concept of justice. Justice is a word that derives from the word just that means fairness. Doing justice is being right and fair. Though justice is served using the courts and all the laws, in the eyes of the people justice is much more than a sentence from a court of law. The verdict has to be such that it appears to be fair and just and not just legally correct.
The blindfolded lady of justice has been an embodiment of the concept since ages. She has a sword that signifies the coercive powers of justice. She also has a scale in her hand that signifies the fact that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.
What is the difference between Law and Justice?
• Law is a tool to serve justice
• Justice is a concept that stands for everything fair and right
• Justice has a moral backing while the law has a legal backing
• Laws are enacted, repealed and modified while justice is a universal value
• Justice is abstract while the law is concrete
• Sometimes justice and the law can be seen in contradiction to each other
• Justice is sometimes seen as divine while the law is always according to rules and regulations