Anyway, let's look at justice first as a concept: in its simplest sense, it is the notion of resolving parity in a society through some type of arbitration or adjudication. Farmer A got jealous of Farmer B's cows, so he killed one; thus, Farmer A, by the system of laws of their respective municipality, is punished by having one of his own cows killed, or one of his cows yielded to Farmer B as punishment.
Easy, right? If only every single case were so.
The notion of equality under the law, that all laws must be applied equally to everyone, is still a (sadly) new concept in jurisprudence. It's easy to see even today that laws in certain countries/cities/states do not apply to everyone equally, whether it is about voting rights, criminal convictions, or class-action lawsuits. For example, doing a search of recent news and criminological research, it's apparent that those living in poorer/lower income areas often struggle more with the law than the more well off.
What does that have to do with justice?
Areas deemed high crime areas typically have poorer residents; after all, no one wants to move to an area with a reputation for being dangerous. Areas with higher crime also receive increased police presence, meaning that there is more scrutiny for smaller infractions and less trust from the police for the general community and vice versa. There are many noted cases of people going into extreme debt trying to pay for their speeding ticket/moving violation simply because they don't have the means to pay it.
Law enforcement, in this case, is doing its job, so they'd say; community members would say that it's unfair targeting.
Contrast that with the financial collapse of 2007/2008, which sent the global economy into a tailspin from which it has only just started to recover. Only one person from the large banks has been jailed for undermining economic security, whereas the managers and executives at the financial firms were able to reap the benefits of a government bailout.
Many have asked, where is the justice?
The notion of a just and fair society is an idyllic one; it is the USA's motto that all men are created equal (Declaration of Independence), though the original Constitution had the 3/5s clause, leaving the individual black person without a whole vote. Justice and equality are inextricably linked concepts. There cannot be one without the other. Two people who commit the same crime in different circumstances should get the same punishment, because that is what equality is. Someone who is selling loose cigarettes shouldn't be strangled to death by police when a teenager who drives drunk and kills the occupants of another car is put on probation and given therapy. (The police officer who strangled the man in question wasn't indicted.)
That upsets what many would consider just, and rightly so; it infringes upon the perceived equality we all should have under the law of the land.
So then the technical definition of justice suffers a little, because we can only perceive it as working as well as those who enforce it and those who adjudicate it. Given that humans are fallible, the goal of justice should be to remove the element of human ego from law. A judge needs to be impartial to reading the law, a police officer needs to be objective and attentive; if this isn't the case, justice breaks down.
Obviously, that's extreme. The world doesn't exist in a vacuum of deceny and laws; in fact, there are books thicker than steel and stone that detail the world's laws, from the smallest municipality to the international system. Ego hasn't been removed, of course; it's still very much a part of the legal system, whether it pertains to international treaties or environmental protection laws. But, we haven't succumbed to anarchy. We don't live in tyrranical times, at least not the tyrannies of myths and literature. We needn't be armed daily for a stroll around the park. We are, for the most part, within a realm of justice that remains steady. For the most part.
Because justice is an incongruent term, and it will continue to be until equality is a tangible concept.
That's all for now,