Essay on Law vs. Justice

Essay by regis2005A+, May 2006

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Based on the many case studies and online discussions our class has had over the past eight weeks, the topic of ethics was always very prominent. Ethics is a process of evaluating actions according to one's moral principal of values. Everyday, businesses and their employees try to choose between profit and moral. Perhaps, some of them obtain both, but every time it could have roused ethical issues. Those issues concern fairness, justice, right or wrong; as a result it can only be resolved according to ethical standards. Setting the ethical standards for the way of doing business in corporations is primarily the task of management. Corporations have to maintain the same standards as an individual person and, in addition, corporations, as organizational units, have their own social responsibilities toward customers, employees and society.

The law is a standard to judge by. While it is open to human interpretation and may be defined by the political philosophy of the interpreter, it differs from justice in that it provides a framework of what is right or wrong conduct.

"It could be said that the law is the mechanism by which society enforces acceptable behavior." [1] Justice is, on the other hand purely subjective and relies on an individuals perception, experience, religious and circumstantial background. Justice for some may not agree with what society has made a law.

Moral concepts strongly affect the law, but law and morality are not the same. Although it is tempting to say, "if it's legal, it's moral," such a proposition is generally too simplistic. Moral questions arise concerning "legal" business practices, such as failing to fulfill a promise that is not legally binding; or exporting products banned in the United States to third world countries where they are not prohibited. The mere fact that these practices are...