How is a moral injustice corrected?

Wheel breakage formula

Also: Radbruch’s formula. Gustav Radbruch was a university professor and social democratic minister of justice in the Weimar Republic. He wrote an important »philosophy of law«. In this book he took a strictly positivist position in jurisprudence (legal positivism). This states that law and morality must be strictly separated. Law is only the positively posited law, which cannot be corrected by morality. V. a. there is no higher-ranking natural law that could serve as a yardstick for positive law, i.e. for whether positive law is just or unjust and, ultimately, whether it can claim validity. After the war, Radbruch modified his position because he saw that Nazi injustice had to be qualified as such and that it could be denied any validity. He summarized this idea in the now famous formula, which reads: »The conflict between justice and legal certainty should be resolved in such a way that positive law secured by statutes and power takes precedence even if it is unfair and inexpedient in content is unlessthat the contradiction of the positive law to justice reaches such an unbearable level that the law, as an 'incorrect law', has to give way to justice. Where equality, i.e. H. Human equality and equality in human dignity (human dignity) is not even sought or denied, one can no longer speak of justice and justice. With the quoted formula, Radbruch had a great influence on the jurisprudence in the young Federal Republic, insofar as it tried to come to terms with the Nazi regime. The perpetrators relied on the law in force under the Nazi dictatorship. Even Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Filbinger (CDU), who as a judge had sentenced deserters to death at the end of the war, went so far as to justify their actions to the news magazine “Der Spiegel” at the end of the 1970s: “What was legal at the time "Today can't be wrong!" According to the R., Nazi law was simply not a law, and Filbinger, like others, could not invoke it for justification. Filbinger was never brought to justice under criminal law, he had to answer to the Federal German judiciary v. a. the little Nazi criminals. After the fall of the Wall, the R. was picked up in order to prosecute the GDR border regime. However, the courts saw that a comparison is difficult and used other standards.
See also:
Legal positivism
Natural law
human dignity

Source: The Legal Lexicon. Terms, basics, connections. Lennart Alexy / Andreas Fisahn / Susanne Hähnchen / Tobias Mushoff / Uwe Trepte. Publishing house J.H.W. Dietz Nachf., Bonn, 1st edition, September 2019. Licensed edition: Federal Agency for Civic Education.