by Andrew McColl, 14/7/2015
- There are four kinds of civil justice in today’s political theory: procedural, restorative, retributive, and distributive. Each has its defenders. Procedural justice refers to the process of justice. For example, does the defendant have access to a lawyer? Is there cross-examination? Is the system fair? Restorative justice is also called restitution. Is the victim of crime compensated by the convicted perpetrator? Retributive justice has to do with the reduction of future crimes.
Does the penalty send fear into the hearts of would-be criminals? Finally, there is distributive justice. This has to do with wealth redistribution by state power. It has to do with the fair share, not a fair trial (procedural justice) (p.373).
Restorative justice is Biblical. It acknowledges that justice has been violated, someone has been wronged and thus restitution must be paid to the victim by the convicted criminal. The Bible makes it clear just how this was to be done in the Case Laws of Exodus (Ex.21-23), and in other parts of Old Testament Law. The Case Laws flow logically from the Ten Commandments (Ex.20). Following is Part 12 of “The Church and God’s Law.”