Many people argue that justice can only be achieved through nonviolent means. This line of reasoning derives from the idea that violence begets more violence and is a mechanism for revenge or retribution. A distinction is drawn between justice and injustice, and efforts are directed toward achieving the former. Justice is administered through law, which is a rational and logical system. For some, it is also a matter of faith.
In the twentieth century, two prominent advocates of nonviolent methods were Mohandas Gandhi of India and Martin Luther King, Jr. of the United States, who took inspiration from Gandhi.
King advocated and tried to follow Six Principles of Nonviolence. Two of those principles speak directly to the concept of justice. The Third Principle is that the aim of nonviolence is to defeat injustice and evil; it is not directed toward people. King wrote, “Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims and are not evil people.” The Sixth Principle is based in faith that “the universe is on the side of justice, so that justice will eventually win.” Along with these principles, he advocated Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change. Verbal communication is emphasized in Steps Four, Discussion/Negotiation, and Six, Reconciliation. All steps reiterate the idea of overcoming injustice, not defeat of an opponent. “Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action.”