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Towards a Just Society

20 1 5

Dr. S. Zulfiqar Gilani |

Although bandied about for as long as one remembers, only recently has the rule of law started being enforced for even the high and mighty. There has been some progress on the ‘blind’ application of the rule of law, though highly uneven and at a snail’s pace. It is commonly believed that as our judicial system improves and the rule of law is established, we will accordingly move towards becoming a just society.

However, although a well-functioning judicial system and the establishment of the rule of law are necessary, they are not sufficient to move towards a just society: That can only happen if the personal virtue of justice is also more prevalent in the citizenry, including amongst the judges and all others in power. We typically associate justice with the prevailing socio-economic arrangements, the judicial system, or political institutions; but the personal virtue of justice is of greater centrality in moving towards a just society.

They are aware of their own shortcomings and acknowledge their own mistakes and faults, which makes them more forgiving of the mistakes and faults of others.

Personal justice requires that we not only judge others fairly but that we also judge ourselves fairly. The latter is very difficult as we are usually quite biased in the way we see and judge ourselves, and a person who is a poor judge of him or herself cannot be a fair judge of others. If we have a biased view of ourselves, we will have a biased view of others. Our bias blinds us to........

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