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
More Justice quotes and sayings
51. “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.” – Theodore Roosevelt
52. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
53. “Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.” – Helen Keller
54. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” – Robert Kennedy
55. “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel
56. “Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren’t, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.” – Gloria Steinem
57. “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
58. “It is essential that justice be done, and it is equally vital that justice not be confused with revenge, for the two are wholly different.” – Oscar Arias
59. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
60. “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.” – Che Guevara
Thought-provoking justice quotes to reflect on
61. “I want to commit the murder I was imprisoned for.” ― J.K. Rowling
62. “In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” ― William Penn
63. “True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.” ― Jane Addams
64. “Rather than justice for all, we are evolving into a system of justice for those who can afford it. We have banks that are not only too big to fail, but too big to be held accountable.” ― Joseph E. Stiglitz
65. “True peace required the presence of justice, not just the absence of conflict.” ― N.K. Jemisin
66. “Always seek justice, but love only mercy. To love justice and hate mercy is but a doorway to more injustice.” ― Criss Jami
67. “There is no such thing as justice, all the best that we can hope for is revenge.” ― Emilie Autumn
68. “Justice is about making them pay for [her] pain. Revenge is making them pay for yours.” ― Erica O’Rourke
69. “Where does seeking justice end and seeking vengeance begin?” ― Paula Stokes
70. “Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.” ― Mark Helprin
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.