Justice in the classical liberal tradition requires the individual rights of all people to be respected, including rights of autonomy and self-determination over one’s own body and the right to hold property. While there is no single classical liberal view on all the individual rights each person has, or how best to mediate when different rights claims are in conflict, there is broad agreement that respect for individual rights is essential. The principle of justice also governs relationships among individuals. By keeping our commitments to one another (either formal contracts or informal promises), telling the truth, owning our mistakes, and taking responsibility for wrongs we have inflicted on others, we act in a manner consistent with justice. More generally, a just society is one that is based on voluntary consent, not coercion.

Justice Core Concept