The goal of the OLBIOS Advisory Group is to help you ask the right questions, raise awareness and inform you on the ethical issues you are confronted with, using ethics not as a constraint machine but as a basis for a stronger, deeper, more conscious and creative approach to your field.
Does justice cover only part of individual morality in modern usages? Why don’t we readily think of someone as unjust if they lie, cheat or neglect their children?
Legal Ethics Rules governing the conduct of lawyers and judges. Exploring the rules or meritocracy norms.
Difference between mandatory DR (Disciplinary Rules) and EC (Ethical Considerations); desired objectives.
Is there an inadequacy of natural motives like benevolence or prudence or sympathetic human sentiment for grounding the requirements of justice? Can justice be based on sentiment?
Mechanisms for enforcing the rules through disciplinary proceedings, and the issues of opinion letters on ethics issues.
Why do conflicts of interest exist? On scarcity of goods and services.
Does the highest stage of moral development involve a concern for justice and human rights based on universal principles, and the lower stages a sheer concern for relationships and for individual human well-being?
What is to « give each person his/her due »? On deserving something.
Does the voice of justice and principle represent a different style of moral thinking (and of an overall moral life) from that of caring for and connecting with others?
Persons as « self-legislators ».
Distinction between what is subject to distribution (income, wealth, opportunities, jobs, welfare, utility), what is the nature of the subjects of the distribution (natural persons, groups of persons, reference classes), and on what basis distribution should be made (equality, maximization, according to individual characteristics, by free transactions).
Evolving character of the concept of justice.
Distributive justice at the global level rather than just at the national level (international justice), distributive justice across generations (intergenerational perspective), and the question of how the topic of distributive justice can be approached, not as a set of principles but as a virtue.
Judicial ethics. Discussing « the least of damage ».
What is strict or radical equality? Why should every person have the same level of material goods and services? Are people owed equal respect? And is equality in material goods and services the best way to give effect to this ideal?
Disciplinary procedures for violations of ethics rules and the importance of court opinions in determining issues of legal ethics.
Is the level of people’s welfare of primary moral importance? Are other concerns such as equality, the situation of the least advantaged, resources, or liberty only derivative concerns?
What should we identify as the basis for « deserving »? Thoughts on Contribution, Effort and Compensation.
Is justice a proper, harmonious relationship between the warring parts of the person or city? And a just man is just a man in the right place, doing his best and giving the precise equivalent of what he has received?
The Euthyphro dilemma: is something right because God commands it, or does God command it because it is right? If the former, then justice is arbitrary; if the latter, then morality exists on a higher order than God, who becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge.
Is justice just a part of natural law involving the system of consequences that naturally derives from any action or choice? And are its laws similar in this to the laws of physics?
The history of Punishments and the Benefits yielded.
Is justice a simple human creation, rather than a discovery of harmony, divine command, or natural law? And is justice the creation of some humans or is it the creation of all humans?
On special treatment: age, sex, race, religion, wealth.
Could justice be understood as trickery and the interest of the strong – merely a name for what the powerful or cunning ruler has imposed on the people?
Retributive / corrective justice. How is it possible to count and discount relevant and irrelevant criteria?
Does justice derive from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned or from what they would agree to under hypothetical conditions including equality and absence of bias? Defining fairness.
Is justice a subordinate value, not as fundamental as we often think, deriving from the more basic standard of rightness?
Does justice derive from instincts or natural human tendencies such as our desire to retaliate against those who hurt us, and our ability to put ourselves imaginatively in another’s place? If this process is the source of our feelings about justice, how can we have real confidence in them?
Why should equals should be treated equally and non-equals unequally? Criteria for treating people differently: need, desert, contribution, effort.
Defining seriousness of crime and intent of the criminal. On fair punishment.
Compensatory justice issues. Is there any compensation for injuries? Is there any proportionality to loss?
Ethics of justice versus ethics of care? Do they represent opposite poles? Equitable treatment of all people and holistic, contextual and need-centered care.
Why just behaviour and ethical behaviour are two different ideals and may even come into conflict.
How to determine what one deserves? About need, desert, contribution and effort.
Compensatory justice; what is proportionality of compensation and injury?
Need, and quest, for global institutions addressing ethics and justice.
Models for institutionalizing ethics and justice.
The distinction between social justice and individual ethics; why justice is not necessarily about laws. Personal attitudes and redistributive politics.
Ethics of the four types of equality.
Is a justice system independent of the state administration possible / legitimate?
Punishment: is violence the only answer to violence? Is there such a thing as dissuasion?
The spectacular failure of prisons and how real or potential victims are paying for prisoners.
How can the prosecution represent « society »? How can the legislator speak in the name of society?
Identity and equivalence between crime and punishment.
Limited objectivity of the sanction. Is punishment a primitive ritual, and/or a disguised vengeance?
How is suffering to be evaluated?
Monetary value of crimes and the impossibility of compensation.
Arbitrary character of the verdict.
Metaphysical aspect of the punishment as opposed to restitution.
Are justice principles abstract and impartial? And is that the highest point of moral development? Is caring always partial?
On the possibility of global justice.
The gender of justice.