The Ancient and Modern Thinking About Justice: An Appraisal of the Positive Paradigm and the Influence of International Law
Ritsumeikan Annual Review of International Studies, 2014. ISSN 1347-8214. Vol.13, pp. 1-41
42 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: December 2014
Despite being endlessly discoursed from the ancient times, the concept of justice has constantly been appeared to be one of the most stimulating as well as penetratingly controversial ideas. Among others, at least three issues have been incessantly involved in the discourse about the concept of justice. First, the question — what is justice — has been enduringly deliberated. Nevertheless, the problem has not yet been sufficiently elucidated to the level of desirable scientific certainty. Therefore, the issue of justice still seems to be a fresh one. This paper has briefly reviewed nine different theories about justice with a view to explore an answer to the question: what is justice? Second, the concept of justice has often been fraught with normative evaluations; consequently, diverse explanations of justice have effortlessly been predisposed to the normative impetuses of the commentators. By briefly assessing why the normative explanations of the concept of justice have endured fallacious ramifications, this paper has therefore proposed a positivist explanation of justice to remedy the problems of conceptual disarrays. Third, the question about the concept of justice has been relentlessly contested against the prospects of good laws. The issue — what are good laws — has attended a profoundly analytical breadth when justice at the practical level is invariably imparted according to law. Against this background, this paper has also explored the composite contours of a good law both from the perspectives of domestic law and the growing demands for the harmonization of domestic laws with the international laws. Moreover, at the heart of the analysis of these three issues, this paper has unequivocally retained the concept of justice with the methodology of the positivity of law, i.e., law as justice.
Keywords: Justice, Law, John Rawls, Buddha, Confucius, Amartya Sen
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