Any understanding of international justice must be based upon justice betweenindividuals, as societies (whether they are international, national, local or based uponsmaller family groups) are made up of individuals. Therefore, in order to understandinternational justice, it is first necessary to understand justice between individuals.In his
Two Treatises of Government
, John Locke states that ‘every man has a property in his own person.’
This essay will defend Locke’s statement as a basicunderstanding of justice and apply the conclusions that follow to the area of international justice. To achieve this thesis, this essay will be divided into fivesections. Section I will discuss what the term justice means and offer a defence of justice as being derived from self-ownership. Section II will place limits on whatrequirements persons have in terms of justice as it has been discussed in section I. Insection III, this essay will continue by constructing a positive account of justice basedon our principle of self-ownership. Section IV will show how our concept of justicemust inform how we conceive international justice. Finally, section V will consider a possible objection to the conclusions reached in this essay, namely that the concept of justice put forward by this essay fails to incorporate any notion of positive freedom.IBefore any argument can take place it is necessary to define what the term justicemeans. This essay understands justice as the act of rendering to each what is due. Thisdefinition comes from
The Digest of Justinian
in which it is stated that: ‘justice is theset and constant purpose which gives to every man his due.’
Therefore, justice is amatter of finding out what one deserves or, as Garret Barden and Tim Murphy state:
Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
, London: YaleUniversity Press, 2003, p. 111.
The Institutes of Justinian
, translated by J.B. Moyle, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1896, p. 3.
‘Iustitia est consstatn et perpetua voluntas ius suum cuique tribuens
.’ This is translated by GarrettBarden and Tim Murphy as: ‘[T]he virtue of justice is the constant and enduring will to render to eachwhat is due.’ Barden, Garrett and Murphy, Tim,
Law and Justice in Community
, Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 2001, p. 40.