Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Justice Across Nations

The definitions of justice is universal to everyone, no matter what part of the world you live in. However, connotations attached to justice could be different depending on where you live and what type of mindset you have. Therefore, a person's personal beliefs about justice could be very different from someone else's. Religion and the law are two things that have a major affect on what people feel that justice is and how justice should be practiced. For example, a Catholic living in America has to decide for themselves whether they believe the death penalty is truly practicing justice or not. Although it is lawful, it is against the Catholic religion to promote killing human beings.
Conflicts within and between people who live in the same area and practice the same or different religions are typical. It goes to show then that people who live in very different areas and have different laws have even greater conflicts in their views of justice. It is easy for an American police officer to associate justice with the law but what about the Nazis that followed Hitler's order? Did they believe they were serving justice? It is hard to say. Connotations of justice can also change throughout time. When the United States were putting to trial the Nazis after years had passed after the end of World War II, they were trying to bring justice to the Nazis and to the Jewish people they had killed. There are two problems with this, though. The first one is that justice had meant something different to the Nazis when they were fighting for Hitler. They believed that they were doing what was right by following orders, which meant true justice to them. That was what they considered the law. When other country's had stepped in and put an end to the genocide, the Nazis stopped following the previous law and started following the current law: that it was unlawful to kill Jews. Another reason this is a problem is that the United States has very different laws than Germany does, even now after World War II. If justice is the administration of the law and law are different everywhere, how is it fair to the Nazis to be tried under the United States laws when they were just following their orders or laws. This is just one example of how drastically different justice can be, not only across nations but across time periods as well.