Justice is a broad concept that basically refers to acts of fairness as a way of creating order of philosophies within a society. “It is basically a concept of moral rightness that is based on ethics, natural law, fairness or equity, religion and rationality along with the provision of punishment for the breach of such said ethics” (Rawls & Kelly, 2001, p. 4).
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The perceptions of justice are vast and they explain the changing theological, philosophical and legal reflections and debates over time. The understandings of justice are influenced by factors such as culture which limit the unitary description of justice (Lane, 1993).
This means that what appears just in one society may be perceived as unjust in another. Ideally, different authors and theorists have developed theories that seek to explain the concept of justice. The different variations and theories of justice include: utilitarian justice, retributive justice, distributive justice, restorative and societal justice.
The actual question in justice is whether the consideration to be made is first of all for the overall justice of the society or the individual (Rawls & Kelly, 2001). It is therefore necessary for the government to be involved in the promotion of justice based on the need for objectivity, fairness and clear interpretation and implementation of law.
The Role of the Government in Promoting Justice
The promotion of justice needs to be based on objectivity and fairness (Rawls & Kelly, 2001). The government is elected by the people for their representation. This means that the people expect the government to represent their interests objectively.
The functions of the government of promoting justice are instituted through various organs and bodies set by the government but through the appointment of independent individuals to run them. These bodies form the judicial system which has the mandate of interpreting the law as well as other systems that deal with matters of equity.
This is so crucial especially due to the diverse theories of justice. The government ensures that these judicial systems are accorded independence to ensure justice while the bodies are set to handle different matters with the ability of appealing to such judgments and to file a suit against the state (Lane, 1993).
The general presumption is that transparency is necessary with checks and balance in place. The justification for the role of the government in the promotion of justice is based on the objectivity and nature of society’s interactions for which law is set up. The fact that justice is about fairness would mean the application of the majority rule.
The government is thus necessary because it is the only institution that can ensure the protection of the minority since it is bound by the law through the protection of the constitutional rights and freedoms of all individuals (Lane, 1993).
The governmental function of governance and implementation of policies is just a part of promotion of justice. The other perspective in this matter is that the government is instituted for the service of all people and this includes the mandate of ensuring that justice is promoted.
The maintenance of justice is very necessary despite the changes in the society. The fact that the government changes with time means that it is the best for the promotion of justice at the time. The other justification for the responsibility of the government in the promotion of justice is that people bestow confidence on the government through elections.
Further, international bodies expect the governments to set goals of development which are necessary for governments to promote justice in the governance and the implementation of policies. The ability of the government to be scrutinized enables it to be objective and make the best decisions. Therefore, justice can be adequately promoted. It is worth noting that the government of any nation has a duty of funding the judicial institutions.
Lane, Giles. 1993. Government, Justice and Contempt. New York: University Press of America.
Rawls, John and Kelly, Erin. 2001. Justice as Fairness: a restatement. Harvard: Harvard University Press.