The Difference between Justice and Law

I had been meaning to write about this for some time.

Law and justice are two different but related concepts.

Law (ideally, but not always) is a series of rules and instructions created by people to promote justice which is the conceptual ideal of fairness and equality in society.

Laws vary in every country (and every state and town!) and the idea of what justice is can vary from person to person.

But the fact that both can vary, and the fact that one (in theory) supports the other can lead to their conflation.

This LCSH is a prime example, because the 450 explicitly says that the concept of Justice absorbs and is used for the concept of Law.

Fugitives from justice (May Subd Geog)
UF Fugitives from the law
BT Criminals
NT Escape (Law)
Escaped prisoners
Executions in effigy

To be a fugitive from the law is not the same as to be a fugitive from justice, because the law often (always) falls short of justice. To be less wishy-washy, the law is often (always?) a complete failure and perversion of justice.

Society acknowledges this, and so our laws change over time to try (ideally) to more comport with justice.

Those who have fled, and those who still are fleeing the persecution of an unjust legal system deserve better than this from us.


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