What is Equalizing or Corrective Justice?June 28, 2021
Compensatory justice or corrective justice, unlike distributive justice, requires acting without considering the special situations and abilities of the people. However, the field of application here is only the legal field. In other words, compensatory or corrective justice according to Aristotle, requires equal treatment of the parties to the legal relationship (Guriz 2001, p. 8).
For example, it is a requirement of corrective or compensatory justice for a murderer to be punished for this crime, and to pay the damage caused to the other party in case of breach of contract by the contracting party. In other words, it is in question to restore justice by correcting the crime he has committed with the punishment he will suffer. On the other hand, the penalty or the compensation to be paid must coincide with the crime or mistake he/she committed. Therefore, it is defined as compensatory or corrective justice.
It should be emphasized here that the amount to be paid is not a refund with the same amount, but a proportional refund. “Receiving the same remuneration is neither appropriate for distributive nor corrective justice” (citing from Aristotle, Bali 2001, p. 87). It turns out that Aristotle is not talking about the principle of “for tit-for-tat” when speaking of compensatory justice here; that is, punishing a beating in the same way does not provide justice, what is fair is to show him the wrongness of this behavior and educate him.
The court decision given below is a very good example of compensatory justice:
“The court sentenced the husband, who injured his wife on the grounds that ‘he was told while making salad,’ in Fındıklı district of Rize, to read a book on ‘how to be happy in married life’ for a year.”
In fact, it cannot be said that Aristotle made a very strict distinction between these two types of justice. Because although Aristotle talks about equality in both types of justice, this is not an absolute equality, it is an equality that should be proportional. Just as it speaks of the proportional distribution of wealth, glory, and title, it also speaks of the distribution or giving of punishments and burdens in a coincidental, but also proportionate manner. It can only be said that compensatory or corrective justice is more about legal rights. However, this relationship has found a place for itself by differentiating in classical and contemporary theories of justice. Here, the distinction between abstract or procedural theories of justice, which is referred to as “rule justice” in classical liberalism and “market justice” in contemporary justice theories, and substantive or redistributive justice theories is basically based on this distinction between distributive justice and compensatory justice.
Locke, Hume and Kant are among the most important thinkers of modern philosophy and they put forward important thoughts on the state and politics.
In particular, Locke has been recognized as the pioneer of liberalism. The great thinker of the Age of Enlightenment, Kant I, by making an enlightenment revolution in the field of politics and law, as well as in the understanding of knowledge and morality, became an important tradition for the analytical and Continental European philosophical traditions, as well as for the philosophy of politics and law. has been a figure.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook