Many people are angry and frightened at the rioting that has caused such damage in cities across England. Some favour harsh punishments. Ideas which have become popular include cutting off welfare benefits to those convicted and evicting their families from social housing. Wandsworth Council has reportedly already applied to the courts to evict a tenant whose son was involved.
Thirty-three Peruvian farmers have recently received out-of-court settlements for the alleged torture they suffered after protesting against a UK mining company’s proposals to set up camp on their land.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill passing through the UK Parliament has been widely criticised. It aims to cut the cost of legal aid by making it far less widely available. But critics have pointed out that this will result in injustice to all but the rich, and have drastic longer-term costs.
Christian thought has contributed a great deal to ancient and modern conceptions of justice, says Puck de Raadt, reviewing a recent book by Nicholas Sagovsky. But justice is at heart a matter of community and action.