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June 03, 2020, 01:11:17 am

Author Topic: Principles of Justice  (Read 3585 times)  Share 

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Principles of Justice
« on: February 03, 2018, 02:04:58 pm »
Hi all, I'm having trouble distinguishing between the principles of fairness and equality, the 2 seem very similar. From my understanding, the difference is that fairness relates to the procedures of the legal system which ensure that an accused receives a 'fair trial' such as being able to present their case and having decision makers that make judgments based on objective evidence and who do not have personal interest in the outcome, while equality refers to everyone being subject to equal treatment under the law and receiving their right to have this fair trial regardless of their gender, religion, race etc. while also recognizing those who are disadvantaged and assisting (positively discriminating) them so that begin on a level playing field and are given an equal opportunity to their fair trial. It's a bit disappointing that the study design didn't really explain these principles considering that it is a new area and one which appears in all areas of study. However this is just my interpretation and if anyone could comment/clarify this would be very much appreciated. Thanks and good luck to everyone in their studies this year.


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Re: Principles of Justice
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 02:52:23 pm »
Didn't do Legal, but from this thread, from a VCAA examiner and teacher:

The difference that is confusing people is the difference between procedural equality and substantive equality (or 'outcome' equality). The picture posted above from the teacher I don't find helpful, because it implies that there isn't such a thing as substantive equality.

Basically, procedural equality is about giving everyone the same thing, regardless of need or circumstance. Substantive equality (sometimes called equity) is about trying to achieve equality of outcome - so people might be treated differently based on need or circumstance. They're both types of equality; one is just more meaningful in real life than the other. Our legal system tends to focus a bit more on substantive equality than procedural equality.

In my textbook (printed by CPAP) I define both of them and explain the difference. It's really not a contradiction: it's just applying 'equality' to different stages of the process.

Also, with the difference between equality and fairness, it's really just that equality is a small part of fairness. Fairness requires some measure of equality (usually substantive equality), but it also requires other things. Fairness is a measure against values and what people think 'appropriate' treatment and natural justice demand; it includes equality, but also dignity, impartiality, access, etc.


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Re: Principles of Justice
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 09:09:33 pm »
I will upvote that.
[Update: full for 2018.] I give Legal lectures through CPAP, and am an author for the CPAP 'Legal Fundamentals' textbook and the Legal 3/4 Study Guide.
Available for private tutoring in English and Legal Studies.
Experience in Legal 3/4 assessing; author of Legal textbook; degrees in Law and English; VCE teaching experience in Legal Studies and English. Legal Studies [50] English [50] way back when.
Good luck!