Justice is the moral rightness and the action of ordering deserved
reward or punishment depending on the actions of an individual and is
different from fairness. This is due to the fact that, while fairness
ensures individuals receive proportionate treatment for their actions,
justice promotes equality and adhering to the rules and laws that the
society has set to govern dealings and interactions at different spheres
of life. Therefore, justice should possess aspects of restitution and
fairness, responsibility for an individual’s deeds and protection of
the future. Real justice ensures proportion and harmony in the society
and unsure that the moral and natural principles are upheld (Richard pp
The fictional movie 24 narrates the Americans fight against the
aggression Islamist extremists. It exemplifies the horror and torture
that suspected terrorists go through as Americans soldiers and other
Intelligence officers try to gather crucial whereabouts and action of
the terrorist groups such as al-Qaida The torture that is subjected to
terrorists suspects is immense, “their victims are hung on hooks, like
carcasses in a butcher shop poked with smoking-hot scalpels or abraded
with sanding machines’’ (Jane pp, 1-2). Despite the fact that the
legal framework of United States of America forbids torture and
maltreatment of suspects raise the question on whether justice is deemed
to be done or denied. The federal law passed by Congress in 1994 states
that “no exceptional circumstances, whatsoever, whether a state of war
or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public
emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” This
invariably means that action that subject such terrorist suspect to
physical or psychological torture are illegal and since justice is
pegged on the tenets of legal framework as a guide to humanity and in
this respect as a guiding rod to all US citizens, then injustice seems
to prevail (Jane 3).
American soldiers are depicted as one of the target consumers of movies
such as 24 that illustrate the gruesome torture that suspected
terrorists are subjected to. It is illustrated that such actions are
promoting unethical behavior among soldiers and negatively affecting
their performance and training. It is said that “that the letter of
American law must be sacrificed for the country’s security—was
having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and
illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance
of real American soldiers. “(Jane 3). Under the American law if a
condition warrants it is sometimes necessary to break the law in order
to prevent greater harm to the society. The tenets of justice are
therefore portrayed, at least by this statement as shaky and shifting.
Real justice cuts across the board and does not discriminate. The
actions of terrorist such the September 11 also signify lack of moral
responsibility and care which the premise from which justice is build.
Such an attack punish innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the
war, and to many individual it may therefore seem appropriate or natural
that such terrorists are punishment using whichever means for the
actions. Justice seems to be blind to the doctrine of necessity that
permits use of torture against terrorist for the public good (Jane 4).
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (King p, 5).
These words from the letter of King Jnr while in Birmingham jail
exemplify the vastness and depth of justice. At the height of racial
segregation in 1960’s state laws were biased towards the colored and
especially Americans of African origin who were referred to as
‘outsiders’. It appeared only natural to white Americans that,
colored were not their equal and should never enjoy similar privileges
and rights. White American acknowledged that one day colored would be
accorded equal treatment but they still felt it was not yet time.
Justice as aforementioned cuts across the board and does not
discriminate and when justice is delayed it is deemed to be denied.”
We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that
“justice too long delayed is justice denied” (King 3).
Therefore, can there be justice in the presence of discriminatory laws
that are perceived just by the favored group and unjust by oppressed
group. It is not possible to have justice in the face of a
discriminatory law since justice promotes equality and upholds the
principles of humanity (Follesdal and Thomas 27). Therefore it would be
unjust to jail or punish an individual who disobeys such laws since
their not laws in the first place. As King puts it “one has a moral
responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” (King 4)
The boundary between just and unjust laws must therefore be demarcated
in order to ensure justice is done and not denied. Just laws are those
principles that humanity have established to ensure equality and that
are pegged on the moral law (Yoo 1). On the other hand, unjust laws are
not based on natural or moral laws are codes that are meant to subject
certain individuals to oppressive state and thereby degrading their
personality. When establish laws bar certain individual from choosing
their leaders or from participating in certain activities or even moving
to particular areas then such laws are unjust and therefore not moral.
King Jnr put it succinctly by stating that, “All segregation statutes
are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the
personality” (King 4).
An in depth investigation of what is lawful and therefore just and what
is unlawful and therefore unjust is the hallmark of ensuring justice if
done to all parties irrespective of circumstance or actions done( Yoo
1). Even though the legal principles will continue to offer an important
guide to establishment what is just or unjust the end result should be
perceived and interpreted by all parties to be just and that moral law
and equality has been upheld.
Justice is the moral rightness pegged on equality, natural law and
fairness. As such, there can never be justice in the presence of
discriminatory laws that are perceived just by the favored group and
unjust by oppressed group as highlighted by the fiction movie 24 and as
illustrated by the letter of King Jnr. It is not possible to have
justice in the face of a discriminatory law since justice promotes
equality and upholds the principles of humanity.
Follesdal, Andreas and Thomas Pogge. Real World Justice Grounds,
Principles, Human Rights, and Social institutions. Dordrecht :Springer.
Jane, Mayer. Whatever it takes
John, Yoo. With `All Necessary and Appropriate Force
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”
Richard, Party. Plato’s Craft of Justice. Albany State University on
New York Press, 1996. Print.
Terry, O’Connel, Ben Wachtel and Ted, Wachtel. Conferencing Handbook
:The New Real Justice Training Manual. Pipersville, PA. The Piper’s
Press, 1999. Print
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Justice is the moral rightness and the action of ordering deserved