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date: 03 October 2023

p. 2519. Theories of justicelocked

p. 2519. Theories of justicelocked

  • Raymond WacksRaymond WacksEmeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory


Theories of justice are at the heart of any serious analysis of law and the legal system. They are an important feature of moral, political, and legal theory. From the Greeks to the present day the question of what constitutes a just society is a fundamental philosophical and practical concern. The disparities in wealth and living conditions between rich and poor countries generates a need for ‘global justice’ that applies to the world at large. This chapter analyses several theories of justice: utilitarianism; the related economic analysis of law; John Rawls’s influential theory of ‘justice as fairness’; Robert Nozick’s ‘entitlement theory’ of justice; the concept of equality; and the novel ‘capability’ approach.

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