How Law’s Claims Relate to Law’s Aims
Chapter 8: Justice: the terrible truth?
Law is power restrained by the form of rules and the simulacrum of justice. Precisely because we cannot rise above ideology and belief, we cannot abandon a belief in justice. The conception of deep justice to which rulers appeal is often a conception of victors’ justice. The fundamental question about the justice of a legal system is therefore a question about the justice of the conception of deep justice which underlies it. True justice is required if the adjudication between different conceptions of deep justice is to be anything beyond a power struggle. True justice is required in order to condemn genocide or child sexual abuse as always objectively wrong. Because true justice is, by definition, mind-independent, its existence does not depend on consensus. The existence of true justice makes best sense of our moral intuitions and is the precondition for rational discussion about goods and morality.
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