When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. However, that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving all people – particularly the poor and oppressed – what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of a concern for what is right. It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.
Justice is not about a culture which encourages everyone to insist on their own rights at the expense of others. It is about a community that knows that everyone’s well-being is bound up with that of everyone else. A commitment to justice leads to opposition to injustice in whatever form it may be found. Justice is a pre-requisite of peace: without justice there can be no peace.