Justices and Judges
24 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011
Date Written: January 1, 1988
Assume you are a moral judge in South Africa within a system of tainted laws. The case before you involves a black man who has been caught living in Johannesburg in violation of the Group Areas Act and the Urban Areas Act. The defendant faces jail if convicted. How would you decide the case? The purpose of this paper is to explore how judges try to achieve justice as they decide cases. It explores two basic approaches to justice and the consequences of those approaches. It looks at how our society tries to define justice; how our system attempts to achieve justice; and, when cases finally arrive at the courts, how judges try to apply the concepts of justice in those cases. The article looks at several cases to see how you might “do justice” if you were a judge. Finally, the paper explores how the deciding courts tried to achieve justice in those difficult cases.
Keywords: Justice, judges, The Traditional Western View of Justice, The Critical Legal Studies View of Justice, American Legal Realism
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