Unveiling the Meaning of Social Justice in Colombia

Carlos Andrés Pérez Garzón

Abstract

Through the presentation of the history of social justice in global constitutional discourse, this article aims to demonstrate that, although in Colombia there is not a constitutionalized purpose or principle of social justice, as in other countries, the modern notion of distributive justice, also called social justice today, is implicit in the Constitution of 1991 because it enshrined as mandatory rules the three main elements of its meaning at the time of its promulgation: the principle of social rule of law, the principle of human dignity and the right to a material equality. Thus, in Colombia social justice must not be understood in the Aristotelian sense of distributive justice but in accordance with these three elements, and can only be achieved if they are fulfilled.

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