Substantive Justice and Procedural Justice
The rule of law aims at achieving justice. The term justice is, however, a subjective term and it is related to the moral standpoint of an individual. According to a utilitarianism argument, justice would be achieved when the good is served on the greatest number. A Marxist would, however, argue that justice is achieved when there is equality in distribution. Justice is arrived at when the conflicting interests are properly balanced. This balance is arrived at by the result or the procedure. Therefore, the concept of justice, is categorized into substantive justice and procedural justice.
Procedural justice is concerned with the due process of arriving at justice. The idea of procedural justice stems from the notion that in order to guarantee fair outcomes, the procedure must be fair. In procedural justice, the process of dispute resolution and allocation of resources should entail fairness. People have more confidence in the outcome when the procedure used, treats them fairly, with dignity and respect. In order to ensure that a procedure is fair, the following key factors should be considered. There should be consistency in that all similar cases are treated alike. There should be neutrality, impartiality, and fairness on those carrying out procedures. The implementation process should also be fair. For example, Drug sentencing laws have been accused of being procedurally unjust in the US (Bayles, 2012).
Substantive justice deals with the law stipulations. The laws that are created in courts and in the parliament are supposed to be just. The extent to which a law is regarded as just is influenced by the culture and the moral values of the society affected. Substantive justice differs from procedural justice in that where procedural justice is concerned with following rules, substantive justice is concerned with ensuring that the rules are fair. When procedural justice is co...
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