Definition of justice noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪs//
    Justice, Social justice
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [uncountable] the fair treatment of people laws based on the principles of justice They are demanding equal rights and justice. opposite injustice see also poetic justice, rough justice See related entries: Social justice
  2. 2  [uncountable] the quality of being fair or reasonable Who can deny the justice of their cause? He demanded, not without justice, that he should be allowed to express his views. opposite injustice
  3. 3  [uncountable] the legal system used to punish people who have committed crimes the criminal justice system The European Court of Justice (British English) They were accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice. (North American English) They were accused of attempting to obstruct justice. Wordfinderabide by something, court, crime, justice, law, legal, police, prosecute, punish, trial Wordfindercell, death row, discharge, justice, parole, prison, probation, remission, sentence, warder Wordfinderaccuse, appeal, counsel, defendant, evidence, justice, offence, plea, prosecution, trial CollocationsCriminal justiceBreaking the law break/​violate/​obey/​uphold the law be investigated/​arrested/​tried for a crime/​a robbery/​fraud be arrested/ (especially North American English) indicted/​convicted on charges of rape/​fraud/(especially US English) felony charges be arrested on suspicion of arson/​robbery/​shoplifting be accused of/​be charged with murder/(especially North American English) homicide/​four counts of fraud face two charges of indecent assault admit your guilt/​liability/​responsibility (for something) deny the allegations/​claims/​charges confess to a crime grant/​be refused/​be released on/​skip/​jump bailThe legal process stand/​await/​bring somebody to/​come to/​be on trial take somebody to/​come to/​settle something out of court face/​avoid/​escape prosecution seek/​retain/​have the right to/​be denied access to legal counsel hold/​conduct/​attend/​adjourn a hearing/​trial sit on/​influence/​persuade/​convince the jury sit/​stand/​appear/​be put/​place somebody in the dock plead guilty/​not guilty to a crime be called to/​enter (British English) the witness box take/​put somebody on the stand/(North American English) the witness stand call/​subpoena/​question/​cross-examine a witness give/​hear the evidence against/​on behalf of somebody raise/​withdraw/​overrule an objection reach a unanimous/​majority verdict return/​deliver/​record a verdict of not guilty/​unlawful killing/​accidental death convict/​acquit the defendant of the crime secure a conviction/​your acquittal lodge/​file an appeal appeal (against)/challenge/​uphold/​overturn a conviction/​verdictSentencing and punishment pass sentence on somebody carry/​face/​serve a seven-year/​life sentence receive/​be given the death penalty be sentenced to ten years (in prison/​jail) carry/​impose/​pay a fine (of $3 000)/a penalty (of 14 years imprisonment) be imprisoned/​jailed for drug possession/​fraud/​murder do/​serve time/​ten years be sent to/​put somebody in/​be released from jail/​prison be/​put somebody/​spend X years on death row be granted/​be denied/​break (your) parole collocations at crime see also miscarriage of justice Culturethe legal systemFor historical reasons, the system of law used in Scotland is different from that in England and Wales, with the law in Northern Ireland similar to that in England. When making decisions Scottish courts look for an appropriate general principle and apply it to a particular situation. English law relies on case law, a collection of previous decisions, called precedents. English courts look at precedents for the case being tried and make a similar judgement. A basic principle of law in Britain is that anyone accused is innocent until proven guilty, so it is the job of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant (= the person accused) has broken the law as stated in the charge. If this cannot be proved the person must be acquitted (= allowed to go free, with no blame attached).British law is divided into civil law which concerns disagreements between individuals about matters such as business contracts, and criminal law which deals with offences that involve harm to a person resulting from somebody breaking the law. In civil cases, the plaintiff (= the person who claims to have been wronged) brings an action against the defendant in the hope of winning damages (= a financial payment) or an injunction (= a court order preventing the defendant from doing something). Criminal cases are brought against criminals by the state, in England and Wales by the Director of Public Prosecutions and in Scotland through procurators fiscal.In England and Wales most towns have a Magistrates' Court where minor cases are judged and more serious cases are passed to higher courts by three magistrates called Justices of the Peace, specially trained members of the public. The more serious cases are heard in a Crown Court by a judge and a jury. Minor civil cases, such as divorce and bankruptcy, are heard in the county courts and more serious ones in the High Court of Justice. Appeals against decisions from the Crown Court or the High Court go to the Court of Appeal and a few cases, where a question of law is in doubt, are passed to the Supreme Court, which has replaced the House of the Lords as the highest court in the country.In Scotland, criminal cases are heard in District Courts by members of the public called lay justices. More serious cases go to regional sheriff courts and are heard by the sheriff and a jury. Appeals go to the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. Civil cases begin in the sheriff court and may go on appeal to the Court of Session.In the US, the judicial system is one of the three branches of the federal government, but the legal system operates at many levels with state, county and city courts as well as federal courts. The right to trial by jury is provided by the Constitution. Each type of court has its own jurisdiction, that is it deals with certain kinds of cases. Both civil and criminal cases are first heard in trial courts and there is a right to appeal against the court's decision in a court of appeals. Many states have family courts where people get divorced and small claims courts which deal with small amounts of money. States also have trial courts, which hear a wider range of cases, and courts of appeal called superior courts or district courts. Most states have a supreme court where the most serious appeals are held. States have their own criminal code, but some crimes are federal offences, i.e. against federal law, and crimes may fall under federal jurisdiction if more than one state is involved.Most courts have only one judge, but some higher courts have several. In the US Supreme Court, the nine judges are called justices. The people on either side of a case are represented by lawyers, also called attorneys-at-law. In a criminal trial the defendant is represented by a defense attorney, or if he or she is too poor to pay a lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender. The prosecution is led by an assistant district attorney or, in federal cases, by a federal attorney. See related entries: Justice
  4. 4(also Justice) [countable] (North American English) a judge in a court (also used before the name of a judge) see also chief justice
  5. 5Justice [countable] (British English, Canadian English) used before the name of a judge in a court of appeal Mr Justice Davies
  6. Word Originlate Old English iustise ‘administration of the law’, via Old French from Latin justitia, from justus, from jus ‘law, right’.Extra examples Civilians were not subject to summary justice. He saw it as rough justice when he got food poisoning from the stolen meat. He spent twenty years in prison as a result of a miscarriage of justice. Justice must be done in every case. Maybe there’s a sort of poetic justice to it. Restorative justice can only work when all parties agree. She was charged with perverting the course of justice after admitting to burning vital evidence. So far the robbers have escaped justice. Some people saw the epidemic as divine justice. Somebody out there needs to make sure justice is served. The teacher’s system of punishments appealed to the children’s sense of justice. They saw the reform proposals as a way to promote social justice. They were accused of attempting to obstruct justice. They were accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice. We have been denied justice for too long. the battle for Taylor to face justice before the High Court the deadliest episode of vigilante justice in American history those who are ultimately responsible for dispensing justice victims seeking retributive justice Children often have a highly developed sense of justice. Our laws must be based on the principles of justice. Sometimes I feel that there’s no justice in the world. They’re demanding equal rights and social justice. We will not get social order until we have economic justice.Idioms
    bring somebody to justice
    jump to other results
    to arrest somebody for a crime and put them on trial in court
      do justice to somebody/something; do somebody/something justice
      jump to other results
    1. 1to treat or represent somebody/something fairly, especially in a way that shows how good, attractive, etc. they are That photo doesn't do you justice. He didn’t play as well as he can, but to do him justice, it was his first game since his injury. The review did not do justice to her talents.
    2. 2to deal with somebody/something correctly and completely You cannot do justice to such a complex situation in just a few pages. I didn’t feel well and wasn’t able to do justice to the meal she had cooked (= I could not eat all the food).
    to do something as well as you can in order to show other people how good you are She didn't do herself justice in the exam.
    pervert the course of justice (British English) (North American English obstruct justice)
    jump to other results
    (law) to tell a lie or to do something in order to prevent the police, etc. from finding out the truth about a crime See related entries: Committing crime
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: justice