To what extent does the law achieve justice?
The literal meaning of justice is ‘the quality of being morally right and fair’ but there are various theories which can be considered and compared since they all define justice in a different way. Formal and concrete would need to be considered. Formal justice is concerned with the methods and procedures in place for decision making and allocating goods and services. It can be said that as long as procedures are fair and everyone has an equal chance to get access to the law, the system can be seen as being formally just. However this could lead to injustice such as before the case of R v R if a judge was to follow formal justice, it would mean that married women would not have the same protection against rape that every women were offered by the law due to the married status. In contrast, concrete justice focuses more on the end result to make sure that fairness is achieved. There are various theorists who have attended to define what justice is; namely Professor Hart, Aristotle, Nozick and John Stuart Mill. Hart argued that justice would be achieved if like cases are threated alike. If judicial precedent was to be followed then justice in the way that Hart describes it would be achieved but that is not always the case if we were to look at the cases of Thornton and Ahluwalia. Both of the defendants in these cases suffered from battered wife syndrome but the cases were not threated alike since in Ahluwalia there was a cooling down period which meant that the defendant could not use provocation as a defence. This shows that justice was not achieved since similar cases were not threated in a similar way. Aristotle argues that justice is achieved when a wrong is corrected and that the wrongdoer does not benefit and that the victim does not suffer lost. This justice who be achieved every time that a wrongdoer is punished whether it is a prison sentence or a fine but in the case of R v Wilson where despite their being...
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