Commutative Justice Law & Legal Definition


Commutative justice refers to that which is owed between individuals, such as in conducting business transactions. Commutative justice calls for fundamental fairness in all agreements and exchanges between individuals or private social groups. It is distinguished from other forms of justice, such as contributive justice, which refers to what individuals owe to society for the common good; legal justice, which refers to rights and responsibilities of citizens to obey and respect the rights of all and the laws devised to protect peace and social order; and distributive justice, which refers to what society owes to its individual members, i.e., the just allocation of resources. Restitution in moral theology signifies an act of commutative justice by which exact reparation as far as possible is made for an injury that has been done to another.