The Morality of a Moral Statute of Limitations on Injustice

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Roberts, R.C. The Morality of a Moral Statute of Limitations on Injustice. The Journal of Ethics 7, 115–138 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022831030301

Download citation

  • compensation
  • injustice
  • justice
  • rectification
  • rectificatory justice
  • statute of limitations