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date: 24 September 2023


see also Laws, Lawyers
  1. Jedem das Seine.
    To each his own.
    often quoted as ‘Everyone gets what he deserves’
    Anonymous: inscription on the gate of Buchenwald concentration camp, 1937; see Bold
  2. Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity.
    Jeremy Bentham 1748–1832 English philosopher: Publicity in the Courts of Justice (1843)
  3. Life for life,
    Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
    The Bible (Authorized Version, 1611): Exodus ch. 21, v. 23
  4. It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.
    William Blackstone 1723–80 English jurist: Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) bk. 4, ch. 27
  5. When I hear of an ‘equity’ in a case like this, I am reminded of a blind man in a dark room—looking for a black hat—which isn't there.
    Lord Bowen 1835–94 English judge: John Alderson Foote Pie-Powder (1911)
  6. Justice is truth in action.
    Benjamin Disraeli 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80: speech, House of Commons, 11 February 1851
  7. Fiat justitia et pereat mundus.
    Let justice be done, though the world perish.
    Ferdinand I 1503–64 Holy Roman Emperor from 1558: motto; Johannes Manlius Locorum Communium Collectanea (1563); see Watson
  8. Justice delayed is justice denied.
    W. E. Gladstone 1809–98 British Liberal statesman, Prime Minister 1868–74, 1880–5, 1886, 1892–4: speech on the state of Ireland, House of Commons, 16 March 1868; see Magna Carta
  9. But then, once in a lifetime
    The longed-for tidal wave
    Of justice can rise up
    And hope and history rhyme.
    Seamus Heaney 1939–2013 Irish poet: The Cure at Troy (version of Sophocles' Philoctetes, 1990)
  10. A long line of cases shows that it is not merely of some importance, but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.
    Gordon Hewart 1870–1943 British lawyer and politician: Rex v Sussex Justices, 9 November 1923
  11. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
    Martin Luther King 1929–68 American civil rights leader: letter from Birmingham Jail, Alabama, 16 April 1963
  12. I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
    Abraham Lincoln 1809–65 American statesman, 16th President 1861–5: remark to Joseph Gillespie, in letter from Gillespie to Herald and Torch Light [Hagerstown, MD] 15 March 1876
  13. To no man will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice.
    Magna Carta political charter signed by King John at Runnymede, 1215: Clause 40
  14. In England, justice is open to all—like the Ritz Hotel.
    James Mathew 1830–1908 Irish judge: R. E. Megarry Miscellany-at-Law (1955)
  15. Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
    H. L. Mencken 1880–1956 American journalist and literary critic: Prejudices 3rd series (1922)
  16. If the parties will at my hands call for justice, then, all were it my father stood on the one side, and the Devil on the other, his cause being good, the Devil should have right.
    Thomas More 1478–1535 English scholar and saint: William Roper Life of Sir Thomas More
  17. The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice.
    Barack Obama 1961–  American Democratic statesman, 44th President from 2009: speech, George Mason University, 2 February 2007, in Guardian 10 February 2007; see King, Parker
  18. What I say is that ‘just’ or ‘right’ means nothing but what is in the interest of the stronger party.
    spoken by Thrasymachus
    Plato 429–347 bc Greek philosopher: The Republic bk. 1, 338c (tr. F. M. Cornford)
  19. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.
    Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919 American Republican statesman, 26th President 1901–9: speech at the Lincoln Monument, Springfield, Illinois, 4 June 1903
  20. J'accuse.
    I accuse.
    title of an open letter to the President of the French Republic, in connection with the Dreyfus affair
    Émile Zola 1840–1902 French novelist: in L'Aurore 13 January 1898