A political discourse analyst, such as Frank Fischer or Alan Finlayson, might have interesting things to say about what's happened to the word 'justice' in Britain in recent years. Two things in particular stand out.
Firstly, 'justice' has become partly managerialised, rendering it just another public service. This is manifest in the creation of a Justice Department (oh, sorry, should that just be 'Justice'? The 'D' word has been weirdly erradicated from many Whitehall, err, institutions, such as CLG. For some reason this capitalised, non-departmental 'Justice' brings to mind this piece of Day Today genius). As a form of public service, 'justice' has to 'deliver' to the victim and the public, while also being reasonably efficient for the taxpayer. This needn't be especially sinister, as judges are a bolshy lot who have seen off some far more frightening enemies than McKinseys over the years. As things like the Bloody Sunday enquiry demonstrate, even Blairism was prepared to ignore cost-benefit analysis when the moral symbolism was powerful enough. But the project of containing justice within a particular strand of policy 'delivery' is notable nevertheless.
Secondly, 'justice' has been softened, with the introduction of the enigmatic prefix 'social' (what Hayek termed "that weazel word"). 'Social justice' means something other than 'justice', permeating the economy, welfare system, family and civil society. It is both more than 'justice', as it extends beyond the realms of classical liberalism; and less than 'justice', seeing as it has no aspiration to finality. I am unsure of the genealogy of the term 'social justice', although in Britain its contemporary resonance must surely owe a great deal to John Smith's 1992 Commission on Social Justice. For anyone interested in the genealogy of the 'social', Jacques Donzelot, Alain Desrosieres and Nikolas Rose have all written interesting papers on the emergence of this category or problem from the mid-19th century onwards.
But how about this for a goal: economic justice. Isn't that what most of us are demanding at the moment? Not justice as an output of the economy or an externality to the economy (like 'social justice'), or independent of economy (like legal 'justice') but at the heart of economic institutions. And not economic fairness either, but economic justice. This is what has concerned the ordo-liberals, radical liberals (such as Mill) and Marxists alike. It is what drives the critique of corporate governance structures and what underpins the political and moral case for co-operatives. It is concerned with frameworks and principles, rather than outcomes or utility. It is manifest in the argument for asset-based welfare, that produced the Child Trust Fund. One could argue that John Rawls was one of the most articulate proponents of 'economic justice', but the grand architectonics of his system meant that he would never allow such a notion to be split off from the larger project of Justice (sans prefix).
One test case would be the productive enterprise. 'Social enterprise' has been on the rise for the past fifteen years, not least because it slotted tidily into a utilitarian policy view of the world. What makes an enterprise 'social' is its purpose, goal or output, which is something other than profit maximisation. In the context of the economy, the term 'social' seems to imply a consequentialist ethics: if an entrepreneur, business or market results in sufficient positive externalities, then we introduce the prefix 'social'.
By contrast, part of the moral appeal of employee-owned businesses, for example, is that their telos is an open question. If they are more ethical than other models of business, this is to do with their structure and a priori form, not their output or the moral virtues of their decision-makers. The advantage of talking about 'economic justice' is that it takes us directly into political issues of where power and freedom lie in the economy, quite aside from how they happen to be exercised. By contrast, the term 'social justice' would seem to be something that could be produced as an act of will, no matter how structurally unjust the institutions concerned. 'Economic justice', on the other hand, signifies a limit to pragmatic utilitarianism, seeking out rules, principles and structures that defend people from exploitation. Civic republicans, such as Philip Pettit and Stuart White, and 'real utopians', following Erik Olin Wright, are in this camp. Given that, firstly, economic outputs are so woeful anyway right now, and, secondly, there is growing popular resentment for capitalist corruption, it seems that 'economic justice' may have become a more appropriate goal than 'social justice'.