The morality of a moral statute of limitations on injustice

The Journal of Ethics 7 (1):115-138 (2003)
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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether astatute of limitations on injustice is morallyjustified. Rectificatory justice calls for theascription of a right to rectification once aninjustice has been perpetrated. To claim amoral statute of limitations on injustice is toclaim a temporal limit on the moral legitimacyof rights to rectification. A moral statute oflimitations on injustice establishes an amountof time following injustice after which claimsof rectification can no longer be valid. Such astatute would put a time limit on the life ofall moral rights to rectification. Sinceascribing a right to rectification for aninjustice is a requirement of justice, andsince the temporal limit called for by astatute of limitations on injustice is aconstraint on that requirement, the idea of astatute of limitations on injustice is morallyjustified only if we have good reasonsfor accepting this constraint. I argue that theidea of a moral statute of limitations oninjustice is not justified, since we lackgood reasons for imposing the constrainton justice it requires.

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Rodney C. Roberts
East Carolina University

Citations of this work

Black reparations.Bernard Boxill - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1.
The counterfactual conception of compensation.Rodney C. Roberts - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (3-4):414–428.
The Duty to Repatriate U.S. Military Personnel.Rodney C. Roberts - 2024 - Journal of Military Ethics 22 (2):110-117.

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References found in this work

Ancient wrongs and modern rights.George Sher - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (1):3-17.
The ethics of insider trading.Patricia H. Werhane - 1989 - Journal of Business Ethics 8 (11):841 - 845.
The New Indian Claims and Original Rights to Land.David Lyons - 1977 - Social Theory and Practice 4 (3):249-272.
Dominant identities and settled expectations.Sue Campbell - 1999 - In Susan E. Babbitt & Sue Campbell (eds.), Racism and Philosophy. Cornell University Press. pp. 216--234.

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