(redirected from justiceships)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.


The proper administration of the law; the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals under the law. A title given to certain judges, such as federal and state supreme court judges.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) fairness. 2) moral rightness. 3) a scheme or system of law in which every person receives his/her/its due from the system, including all rights, both natural and legal. One problem is that attorneys, judges, and legislatures often get caught up more in procedure than in achieving justice for all. Example: the adage "justice delayed is justice denied," applies to the burdensome procedures, lack of sufficient courts, clogging the system with meritless cases, and the use of the courts to settle matters which could be resolved by negotiation. The imbalance between court privileges obtained by attorneys for the wealthy and for the person of modest means, the use of delay and "blizzards" of unnecessary paper by large law firms, and judges who fail to cut through the underbrush of procedure all erode justice. 4) an appellate judge, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the U. S. Supreme Court, a member of a Federal Court of Appeal, and judges of any of the various state appellate courts.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

JUSTICE. The constant and perpetual disposition to render every man his due. Just. Inst. B. 1, tit. 1. Toullier defines it to be the conformity of our actions and our will to the law. Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 5. In the most extensive sense of the word, it differs little from virtue, for it includes within itself the whole circle of virtues. Yet the common distinction between them is that that which considered positively and in itself, is called virtue, when considered relatively and with respect to others, has the name of justice. But justice being in itself a part of virtue, is confined to things simply good or evil, and consists in a man's taking such a proportion of them as he ought.
     2. Justice is either distributive or commutative. Distributive justice is that virtue whose object is to distribute rewards and punishments to each one according to his merits, observing a just proportion by comparing one person or fact with another, so that neither equal persons have unequal things, nor unequal persons things equal. Tr. of Eq. 3, and Toullier's learned note, Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 7, note.
     3. Commutative justice is that virtue whose object it is to render to every one what belongs to him, as nearly as may be, or that which governs contracts. To render commutative justice, the judge must make an equality between the parties, that no one may be a gainer by another's loss. Tr. Eq. 3.
     4. Toullier exposes the want of utility and exactness in this division of distributive and commutative justice, adopted in the compendium or abridgments of the ancient doctors, and prefers the division of internal and external justice; the first being a conformity of our will, and the latter a conformity of our actions to the law: their union making perfect justice. Exterior justice is the object of jurisprudence; interior justice is the object of morality. Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 6 et 7.
     5. According to the Frederician code, part 1, book 1, tit. 2, s. 27, justice consists simply in letting every one enjoy the rights which he has acquired in virtue of the laws. And as this definition includes all the other rules of right, there is properly but one single general rule of right, namely, Give every one his own. See, generally, Puffend. Law of Nature and Nations, B. 1, c. 7, s. 89; Elementorum Jurisprudentiae Universalis, lib. 1, definito, 17, 3, 1; Geo. Lib. 2, c. 11, s. 3; Ld. Bac. Read. Stat. Uses, 306; Treatise of Equity, B. 1, c. 1, s. 1.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The two average terms (forty-three signatures on twenty-seven concurrences in nineteen cases) are 1991-92 and 1998-99, nicely framing the peak year as well as marking something close to the beginning and end of Lamer's Chief Justiceship. However, the fact that the peak comes in the middle and not at the end of the Lamer Court suggests that whatever causal factors may have driven this pattern, they are nothing as simple as a change of chief justices.
Under Lamer's Chief Justiceship, the Court wrote fully half as many words in minority reasons as it did in decisions of the Court; looking more closely at these minority reasons, the Court wrote fully half as many words in its separate concurrences as it did in its dissents.
The Chief Justiceship, the "Opinion of the Court" Practice, and Silent Acquiescence
Although the special seniority of the chief justiceship was well established by the time John Marshall became Chief Justice in 1801, it had largely been reflected in dimensions of the office that were more closely connected to Court protocol than to actual power.
Five years into Marshall's tenure, a close observer of the Court would have noticed that tendencies which had appeared during Ellsworth's chief justiceship had evolved into established practices.
Although the protocol by which the senior Justice (typically the Chief, since Marshall missed very few Court sessions in the first decade of his tenure) delivered the "opinion of the Court" was a holdover from Ellsworth's chief justiceship, the elimination of seriatim opinions and the lengthening of the "By the Court" paragraphs into more extensive "opinions of the Court," were innovations.
(91) Adams was doubtless aware that Congress was about to pass a judiciary bill that would address that very problem, (92) but he failed to mention the bill in his letter offering the chief justiceship to Jay.
On January 19--the day that Adams offered the chief justiceship to Marshall (100)--he was notified by Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert that the House was about to pass what became the Judiciary Act of 1801.
Jonathan Dayton, a senator from New Jersey--Paterson's home state--saw Adams's failure to nominate Paterson as one more manifestation of his general "debility or derangement of intellect." (106) What most disturbed Paterson's supporters, Dayton said, was the fear that Paterson would resign from the Court as a result of "the injury done to" him; Dayton was greatly relieved to receive a letter from Paterson in which he lightly brushed off" the possibility that he would have accepted the chief justiceship, had it been offered to him, and graciously praised Marshall as a "man of genius." (107)
(151) That August, when the opening of the Supreme Court was delayed for several days because of the lack of a quorum--caused partly by Ellsworth's absence in France--the Aurora mocked the idea that "no man in the United States" could have negotiated a treaty with the French but Ellsworth, and criticized "[t]he suspension of the business of the highest court of judicature in the United States, to allow a Chief Justice to add NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS a year to his salary." (152) And in 1801, when the chief justiceship was again vacant, the Aurora dismissed the position as a "sinecure," on the evidence "that in one case the duties were discharged by one person who resided at the same time in England; and by another during a year's residence in France." (153)