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1) The ethical, philosophical idea that people are to be treated impartially, fairly, properly, and reasonably by the law and by arbiters of the law, that laws are to ensure that no harm befalls another, and that, where harm is alleged, both the accuser and the accused receive a morally right consequence merited by their actions (see: due process).

2) A legal structure or system that is designed to judge in a general sense who should be accorded a benefit or burden when the law is applied to a person’s factual circumstances.

3) A title conferred upon a judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeal, or the state courts of appeal.

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]