Does natural justice exist?

How does natural justice unfold?

  • 2
    Natural justice ? – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 10 '18 at 12:52
  • 2
    Natural law ? – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 10 '18 at 12:52
  • The concept of justice presupposes the capacity of judgment, thus it originates in the Supreme Judge. Kant made the following observation: "The idea of freedom leads, through the categorical imperative, to God." – user3017 Jan 10 '18 at 12:55
  • Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce's "Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals" which may be relevant unless I misunderstood "natural justice". – Frank Hubeny Jan 10 '18 at 12:59
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma – user2201 Jan 10 '18 at 13:43

Natural justice is technical terminology for the rule against bias (nemo iudex in causa sua) and the right to a fair hearing (audi alteram partem).

Yes, natural justice is used in practice when setting the framework for almost all modern laws, which would by extension indirectly force the overseeing judge or legal power in any legal matter to follow this “duty to act fairly”. Most simply because the framework they follow most often was built on top of this idea.

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You realise there are at least three ways of reading that question..

Are you referring to the:

  • legal concept of natural justice, aka procedural fairness?
  • philosophical concept of "we hold these truths to be self evident"
  • cosmic, universe is listening, karma?

If you're referring to the legal concept, this holds because there are fundamental rights or expectations (in jurisprudence) that apply to people going through a legal process. For example, the right to be heard, the right to a fair trial, etc. These underlying 'rights' are there to ensure that the legal process can operate effectively and are termed natural justice. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that a legal outcome will be fair and just. Instead it means that a person has been given a fair and reasonable opportunity to state their case, and that the adjudicator (judge, magistrate, or jury) has reasonably considered the evidence before them.

If you're referring to either of the other types of natural justice, then I'm afraid I'd have to say no. I don't believe an ethical or moral compass for decency is a natural justice, and I don't believe that the universe (or diety/s) is presiding over our lives :P

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