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50 Justice Quotes That Illustrate The Importance of Fairness

These justice quotes will remind you to treat others with fairness and give you the courage to stand up for what’s right.

What does justice mean? Well, justice is a complicated topic. It means that people are treated fairly and behave in a way that is morally right. People have different ideas for what fair and moral treatment is, sadly.

By the definition though, it should be simple. My mother-in-law always says, “What’s right is right, and the rest don’t count.” These justice quotes cover the four types of justice which are distributive, procedural, retributive, and restorative.

Feeling like justice has been served can add to people’s happiness and sense of peace. There are many quotes about the government and democracy’s role concerning justice. Some of these quotes are enlightening regarding how we view justice.

Justice can often leave people seeking revenge, which isn’t a good thing, and there are several quotes about that. Finally, seeking justice is a critical element of our society and human nature. However, there are a plethora of things that threaten justice. 

Don’t forget to also check out these injustice quotes for those moments when life’s unfair.

Justice quotes about peace and happiness

1. “There really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.” ― Louis Farrakhan

2. “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” ― Baruch Spinoza

3. “Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

4. “Peace without justice is tyranny.” ― William Allen White

5. “If you want peace, work for justice.” ― Pope Paul VI

6. “We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful, and sustainable for the next generation.” ― Barack Obama

7. “Peace is more important than all justice, and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.” ― Martin Luther

8. “The cause of justice is the cause of humanity. Its advocates should overflow with universal goodwill. We should love this cause, for it conduces to the general happiness of mankind.” ― William Godwin

Justice quotes about government and democracy

9. “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” ― Reinhold Niebuhr

10. “There is a higher court than courts of justice, and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

11. “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice.” ― Sophocles

12. “Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.” ― Alexander Hamilton
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Alexander Hamilton quotes that remain true today.

13. “Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political, and religious relationships.” ―  A. Philip Randolph

14. “People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot things that are going on that are unjust. People aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for: freedom, liberty and justice for all.” ― Colin Kaepernick

15. “I stand for simple justice, equal opportunity, and human rights. The indispensable elements in a democratic society – and well worth fighting for.” ― Helen Suzman

16. “It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive.” ―  Earl Warren

17. “Justice has nothing to do with victor nations and vanquished nations, but must be a moral standard that all the world’s peoples can agree to. To seek this and to achieve it – that is true civilization.” ― Hideki Tojo

18. “Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” ― Coretta Scott King

Enlightening quotes about justice

19. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” ―  William E. Gladstone

20. “Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.” ― D. H. Lawrence

21. “Justice is the sum of all moral duty.” ― William Godwin

22. “Justice is not to be taken by storm. She is to be wooed by slow advances.” ―  Benjamin N. Cardozo

23. “Justice and judgment lie often a world apart.” ―  Emmeline Pankhurst

24. “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” ― Abraham Lincoln

25. Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” ―  Eleanor Roosevelt

26. “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst.” ― Aristotle

27. The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them. ― Lois McMaster Bujold

28. “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” ―  Winston Churchill

29. “Justice is truth in action.” ―  Benjamin Disraeli

30. “If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.” ―  Francis Bacon

31. “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr.

32. “Truth never damages a cause that is just.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

33. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” ― Theodore Parker

Justice quotes on revenge and tyranny

34. “There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.” ― Montesquieu

35. “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” ― Haile Selassie

36. “Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.” ― Blaise Pascal

37. “Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.” ― Samuel Johnson

38. “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.” ― Francis Bacon

39. “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

40. “If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Justice quotes about the threats to justice

41. “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” ― Frederick Douglass

42. “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” ― James Baldwin

43. “Finally, let us understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white, and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.” ― Bernie Sanders

44. “Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.” ― James A. Garfield

45. “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.” ― Lyndon B. Johnson

46. “Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.” ― Desmond Tutu

47. “If you see oppression of the poor, and justice and righteousness trampled in a country, do not be astounded.” ― King Solomon

48. “Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience, but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

49. “Justice must not only be seen to be done, but has to be seen to be believed.” ― J. B. Morton

50. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ― Benjamin Franklin

What did you learn from these justice quotes?

I tell my children all the time that fair doesn’t always mean equal and sometimes they struggle with that. For instance, my son will say, “But my sister has a phone and I don’t.” Then I have to remind him he is not yet the age his sister was when I bought her the telephone.

Other times, she will complain that she does more than he does around the house, and I have to explain how he is five years younger than she is, and when she was his age, she didn’t do much either. It’s exhausting to try and explain equity and fairness to children.

More and more, I find it difficult to explain to adults. Were there times that you sought out justice for a wrong? Did you witness someone else being treated unjustly? We are finding ourselves in situations daily where things do not seem right and fair. We are all getting tired.

My favorite of these quotes was Ben Franklin’s, when he reminded us that, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” I am outraged, are you? Feel free to leave any other thoughts or justice quotes and sayings in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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