Definition of justice in US English:

justice

noun

  • 1Just behavior or treatment.

    ‘a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people’
    • ‘The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.’
    • ‘These efforts build on current and past work to find appropriate responses based on science, reason, compassion and justice.’
    • ‘It holds centuries of legal records encompassing the principles of social justice and moral values.’
    • ‘But we should be clear that we are doing so for reasons of justice and not in the delusive hope of greater security.’
    • ‘We identify both personal morality and social optimism and justice with the self-control needed for dieting.’
    • ‘Suddenly, half drowning him didn't seem like fair justice.’
    • ‘The group will look at health, social justice, criminal justice and other issues.’
    • ‘He said the commission deals with human rights abuse cases which were difficult to bring to justice because of technical reasons, such as a lack of evidence.’
    • ‘Subordinates aren't the only ones concerned with social justice.’
    • ‘I assumed that truth, equity, tolerance, justice, morality and principles matter to most Australians.’
    • ‘His ideas on social justice were the foundation of new humanism and of Romanticism in general.’
    • ‘If the population can see that there is an institution that delivers fair justice within a reasonable time, then it can make a certain contribution.’
    • ‘This concern for social justice, in turn, creates a norm within congregations that is supported and nourished by the congregants.’
    • ‘The tragedy of riots lies as much in the destruction of life and property as in the destruction of our fundamental beliefs - in justice, in reason, in humanity.’
    • ‘But it's not all about compensation, Mr Kelly said, as most people just want a fair hearing and justice.’
    • ‘The judicial system was not efficient enough and people rarely received fast and fair justice.’
    • ‘We can remain a voice for reason, for justice, and for love.’
    • ‘Instead, he has pushed the church away from social justice and peace concerns.’
    • ‘They expect no justice, no fair deal and no humanistic approach by the Indian leadership.’
    • ‘Any gathering on this scale calling for peace and social justice would have been exciting.’
    fairness, justness, fair play, fair-mindedness, equity, equitableness, even-handedness, egalitarianism, impartiality, impartialness, lack of bias, objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness, lack of prejudice, open-mindedness, non-partisanship
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    1. 1.1 The quality of being fair and reasonable.
      ‘the justice of his case’
      • ‘We esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause.’
      • ‘An oft-repeated maxim was that reason and justice are to be accorded more regard than mere texts.’
      • ‘Others will grant authority to the use of force if it falls within bounds of justice and reason.’
      • ‘You stand up for professional values, fair play and justice during a controversy.’
      • ‘If it protects any living creatures, it is bound in reason and in justice, to protect all.’
      • ‘But don't fancy that all that frantic astronomy would make the smallest difference to the reason and justice of conduct.’
      • ‘But what would happen to the right to counsel if lawyers were always second-guessing the justice of their clients' causes?’
      • ‘This is not justice or fair criticism - it is hypocrisy and double standard.’
      validity, justification, soundness, well-foundedness, legitimacy, legitimateness, reasonableness
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    2. 1.2 The administration of the law or authority in maintaining this.
      ‘a tragic miscarriage of justice’
      • ‘In addition to tackling fraudulent and exaggerated claims, we must improve the quality of justice for genuinely injured parties.’
      • ‘In the case of a slow degradation of the quality of justice, nothing particularly dramatic would occur.’
      • ‘Nor is there any evidence that the quality of justice in New South Wales is notably superior to that in Victoria.’
      • ‘But if there is any interference with the administration of justice, one sets aside the decision.’
      • ‘Our submission is that it is an affront to the administration of justice if the continuation of the proceedings would be an abuse.’
      • ‘Civil rights campaigners believe any change would do serious damage to the quality of British justice.’
      • ‘The evidence was critical in relation to a serious charge and the administration of justice would be held in disrepute if the evidence was not admitted.’
      • ‘The effect that the admission or exclusion of the evidence would have on the repute of the administration of justice is more problematic.’
      • ‘So this is about a political process and a political reason to do this for reasons other than military justice.’
      • ‘What counts most now is that the process of military justice be fair, as I have every expectation it will be.’
      • ‘Plainly, if a fair trial is not possible, then it is not in the interests of the administration of justice to allow any action to proceed.’
      • ‘And, again, membership in a political party does not determine the quality of justice in this country.’
      • ‘If the Court pleases, what the first issue of general importance for the administration of justice is is this.’
      • ‘What impact does that kind of tactical use by corporations have on the administration of justice?’
      • ‘The public have not been in a position to form a view about the quality of Scottish justice in this case as proceedings are represented only through the fleeting visits of itinerant journalists.’
      • ‘At that time, Rehnquist said the high number of vacancies was eroding the quality of justice associated with federal courts.’
      • ‘But it goes to an essential aspect of the administration of justice, the due pronouncement of any court decision.’
      • ‘It means that the administration of justice has entirely failed.’
      • ‘The other two purposes were: the protection of the administration of justice and the protection of the client.’
      • ‘That lack of specific focus is necessary to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice.’
      judicial proceedings, administration of the law
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    3. 1.3 The personification of justice, usually a blindfolded woman holding scales and a sword.
      • ‘Sane people know the scales of justice really do exist and demand balance.’
      • ‘These recognitions, in one sense, balanced the scales of environmental justice with respect to gender.’
      • ‘Well, huge undertaking or not, something is definitely tipping the scales of justice in the favor of celebrities lately.’
      • ‘I think the scales of justice might be a tad lopsided here.’
      • ‘The scales of justice have become heavily weighted against the accused, rather than the accuser.’
      • ‘But the sword of justice should not be used to force me to compensate those with less talent.’
      • ‘In her left hand she holds the scales of justice while in her right she brandishes her double-edged sword to punish the guilty.’
      • ‘The evenly balanced scales of blind justice derive from this principle.’
      • ‘The bill was shot down because legislators believed it would create protected classes and tilt the scales of justice toward particular groups.’
      • ‘As a visual allusion to the scales of justice, the poster sets up an either/or relationship between Christ and the law.’
  • 2A judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the Supreme Court of a country or state.

    • ‘The application is made to the magistrates' court and not specifically to the licensing justices.’
    • ‘The Justice of the Peace reserved her decision pending the outcome of these applications.’
    • ‘Will we see something in the Budget that will allow for barristers or solicitors to be visiting justices?’
    • ‘It is, therefore, a matter of public interest who becomes judges of the lower courts and justices of the Supreme Court.’
    • ‘Such a writ can only be granted with the agreement of four justices of the Supreme Court.’
    • ‘The Supreme Court of Canada justices do not have to explain why they decide to hear or not hear a case.’
    • ‘Three of the nine supreme court justices could well step down in the next few years.’
    • ‘The President appoints the chief justice, and they together determine the other judicial appointments.’
    • ‘Or is the Court simply stalling for time until a new chief justice is appointed?’
    • ‘There are only nine justices on the Supreme Court and they serve for life.’
    • ‘When it does, the 12 law lords will no longer be members of the House of Lords but will become supreme court justices.’
    • ‘Regardless of the comments made by the defendants the justices were wrong to find no case to answer’
    • ‘The reference to two or more justices is reflected in section 7 of the Magistrates Act.’
    • ‘The judicial branch includes a supreme court with justices appointed by the president.’
    • ‘Licensing justices at Andover magistrates court will consider the application next Wednesday.’
    • ‘No one should deny the chief justice's right under any circumstances to ensure the independence of the judiciary.’
    • ‘How does this play into the subject at hand, which is the Supreme Court and justices?’
    • ‘It isn't hard to guess how the new justices will rule on tort reform and school funding.’
    • ‘If that is true of licensing justices, the same must be true of the crown court.’
    • ‘The justices refused to grant bail on the basis suggested, and Mr Stevens was remanded in custody.’
    • ‘Today is a day to be proud of the eight associate justices of the Supreme Court of Alabama.’
    • ‘Not since Eisenhower, has a president appointed four new Supreme Court justices.’
    • ‘No application was made, and certainly no application was granted when this matter came before the justices.’
    • ‘Rule 8 provides for the delegation of functions by the justices ' clerk.’
    • ‘Having heard all the facts of the appeal and discussed the matter, the recorder and the justices refused costs.’
    judge, magistrate, her honour, his honour, your honour
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • bring someone to justice

    • Arrest someone for a crime and ensure that they are tried in court.

      • ‘We will do anything we can to identify this man and hopefully ensure he is brought to justice.’
      • ‘And I can't see any way that I will be brought to justice for these crimes.’
      • ‘It is impossible to sue the true perpetrators and bring them to justice.’
      • ‘I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice.’
      • ‘If many terrorists are involved - as now appears the case - it is difficult to conceive of a more appropriate procedure to bring them to justice.’
      • ‘But I think we have shown that we have the capacity to reach a long way to find the perpetrators of this crime and to bring them to justice and call them to account.’
      • ‘The general public therefore has no role to play in tracking down these people and bringing them to justice.’
      • ‘These fraudsters are taking advantage of innocent people's generosity but with your help we can ensure they are brought to justice.’
      • ‘No one was ever been arrested for the crime and the manhunt continues to bring them to justice.’
      • ‘If, indeed, the perpetrators of last week's attacks are part of a global network, it will require a coordinated international law enforcement effort to bring them to justice.’
  • do oneself justice

    • Perform as well as one is able to.

      • ‘He is still not a match for Raikkonen in this area, but he seems to have at least proved able to do himself justice.’
      • ‘I could possibly get fit enough to compete in Paris but I just would not be able to do myself justice.’
      • ‘But at his age, and lacking the svelte, athletic frame of certain peers, he is honest enough to know he won't be able to do himself justice on the back of a long-term pared-down training regime.’
      • ‘If you don't prepare like the rest of the team does, you're not doing yourself justice.’
      • ‘‘I don't know if I'll be able to do myself justice,’ he mused before craftily adding: ‘At least it's another week's work and another paycheque.’’
      • ‘Our main problem has been our inconsistency which can let us down, but that means sometimes we end up doing ourselves justice.’
      • ‘Cotterill can take many positives from a season of real progress, but there were precious few to take from this performance on a night when too many players failed to do themselves justice.’
      • ‘So I just hope our lads can perform and do themselves justice on the day.’
      • ‘‘I WAS disgusted with last week's performance but I knew the lads did not do themselves justice and they proved that to-day’.’
      • ‘Would we do ourselves justice and would be able to repay Tim, Martin and Rachel with the thanks they deserved: an Oxford win.’
  • do someone/something justice (or do justice to someone/something)

    • Do, treat, or represent someone or something with due fairness or appreciation.

      ‘the brief menu does not do justice to the food’
      • ‘Keegan also does justice to the exceptional quality of coalition war planning and operations, though only a third of the book is devoted to them.’
      • ‘The result does not do justice to the quality of some of the pictures, and is visually unsatisfactory and somewhat unattractive.’
      • ‘It gets a chapter to itself, but a short one, which does not do justice to either the scale or the complexity of the problem.’
      • ‘There's no way to do it justice with words, so I'll do it justice with photos instead.’
      • ‘Whether he has done sufficient justice to the reasonableness of faith is an open question.’
      • ‘This is the vision that the narrator makes attempts to articulate, and his story concerns his search for exactly the right form of artistic expression to do justice to its unique qualities.’
      • ‘The brief pronouncement by Jimmy Carter does not do justice to the technical reasons behind that statement.’
      • ‘Subjecting him to a cold, unsentimental, statistical evaluation hardly does justice to the qualities he possessed.’
      • ‘It's rare to get a house with a design like this and in fairness the design doesn't do it justice… you need to see it up close.’
      • ‘I have no concerns about playing the part, only about doing the storyline justice and playing it sensitively.’
  • in justice to

    • Out of fairness to.

      ‘I say this in justice to both of you’
      • ‘And yet there comes a point when, in justice to the man himself and the enormous contribution he had made to church and world, retirement might be in everyone's interest.’
      • ‘In justice to China, in justice to your readers, and in justice to yourselves, I trust that you will pass this information to your subscribers.’
      • ‘Mr. Woodhead the defence counsel, concluded, ‘If the Bench tell me that there is a sufficient ‘prima facie’ made out, I shall, in justice to the prisoners, reserve what defence I may have until the trial’
      • ‘Not, as your dear little daughter there seems to think, because I am greedy, but because I am always punctual, in justice to the cook.’
      • ‘I cannot, in justice to my own belief, and what I have great reason to conceive is the intention of Congress, conclude this address.’

Origin

Late Old English iustise ‘administration of the law’, via Old French from Latin justitia, from justus (see just).

Pronunciation

justice

/ˈdʒəstəs//ˈjəstəs/