Is The Law Always Fair

Justice by law is not always fair. Need some points in favor of this topic.

Asked on by nandani232

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It is very clear from human history that the law does not always provide justice.  There are a number of reasons why this would be true.  Let us examine two of these reasons.

First, laws are made by people and people do not always treat others fairly.  For much of human history, laws have been made by kings or aristocrats.  These people did not feel that they had to make laws that would be fair to their subjects.  Instead, they made laws that would maintain their own power.  Even in times and places where laws were made more democratically, the majority of people have been able to make laws that were unfair to minorities.  Discrimination against African Americans and women in the United States would be one example of such unfair laws.

Second, even if laws seem fair on their face, they can often be unfair in practice.  For example, you can argue that laws against theft are unfair.  Laws against theft seem fair in that they prohibit everyone in the society from taking what is not theirs.  However, you can at least argue that this is unfair because it only really constrains the behavior of those who lack material goods.  In other words, our society is set up in such a way that some people are well-off (and do not need to steal) while others are poor and have more of a “need” to steal.  When we make laws that prohibit theft, we are essentially making it harder for poorer people to live while making it easier for wealthier people to maintain their wealth.  This is, at least arguably, unfair.

 In these ways, it is possible to argue that justice through law is not always fair.

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mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The answer by pohnpei397 gives you what you really need in terms of the laws in this country favoring the wealthy.  As a person who is on call for prisoners in crisis, I am often struck by the draconian choices some of these prisoners must make.  For example, several of them have said that stealing to feed their kids was the lowest point of their lives, but that they had exhausted all their other options.  Many have grandparents who raised them who have cancer with no one to care for them except this one grandchild.  Having no contact orders are a good thing except when it is the person who filed the no contact order who calls and needs someone to watch the children while she attends a doctor's appointment.  With the violation of the no contact order, the person is now returned to prison for that violation.  I see both sides, and the law doesn't always feel just for both parties.

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