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As Austro-Libertarians we are always questioned about what justice looks like in an Austro-Libertarian system. To be able to answer this question fully, we first need to understand what our current justice system looks like.  In so doing we will come to realize that our current justice system can best be defined as in-justice in the democratic system.

There are currently four different points of view as to what Justice should look like:

  • An eye for an eye
  • Punishment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Settlement



This old biblical concept is still in practice today in several countries around the world.  It is perceived as righteous and in agreement with religious beliefs.  It is however barbaric in nature and it is not conducive to any positive outcome.  Neither the victim is compensated nor the criminal has learned anything.  Although we will see in the next lesson that the concept of an eye for an eye can be applied in an Austro-Libertarian system to some degree, it is not really the desired outcome or the one that the system creates incentives for.



This concept of justice system is based on the idea that criminals cannot be redeemed and that punishment is the best we can hope for, in order to prevent further criminality.  The problem with this concept is that it is not fair to the victim while at the same time it is heavily biased in favour of the criminal.  This is so because the victim receives no reparation at all and at the same time the criminal need to be housed, and fed which is expensive. Furthermore, is the victim who is punished by having to pay for the housing of its assailant through taxes. Although it is true that the organization housing the criminal may financially benefit in marginal way from the criminal (through compensation received from the criminal’s work) but this benefit is usually minor.



This concept is relatively new. It is based on the notion that people can somehow be re-wired to think differently or re-educated. Just as with the previous concept, it is unfair to the victim while even more biased to the criminal.  Not only does the victim receive no reparation, but in addition to paying for the criminal’s housing, it needs to pay for the criminal’s re-education! The victim is victimized, is not compensated and on top it is taxed even heavier. Does this make any sense? Of course not!



This concept is used more widely in the civil justice system. The notion is that a breach of some sort can be compensated through some sort of agreement between parts. This philosophy is actually much closer to an Austro-Libertarian way of thinking that the three preceding ones. The two major problems it exhibits are: it does not include "criminal" cases and it is too complicated and expensive.


In a Democracy none of these justice  concepts work or are viable. Criminality has not diminished in any way and people are usually left without justice because it is simply too expensive to afford.

So, what is the way of justice in an Austro-Libertarian system?

For that you will need to read the next lesson.

As usual, the choice is yours. Believe in the current in-justice or demand something logical that actually makes sense and works.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.



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