Procedural Versus Substantive Fairness

Procedural fairness and substantive fairness are distinct but overlapping dimensions along which the fairness of activities and outcomes may be measured. They are at times also discussed as procedural and substantive justice and, in the American constitutional tradition, as procedural and substantive due process. This entry provides an overview of these concepts, and it discusses significant tensions that arise within and between the two.

Procedural Fairness

Procedural fairness refers to the impartiality and adequacy of procedures used to render a judgment or an outcome. An institution exhibits procedural fairness when, for example, it treats all individuals under its authority as equals by subjecting them to identical procedures, but also when it affords each person procedures adequate to address his or her interests. Already, within this description, a ...

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