Fairness, to me, is the perfect unity of Mercy and Justice. But I can't explain the relationship in the context of law school or my life. Rather, I feel it's necessary to view fairness in the context of Eternal Law. After examining this macrocosm, hopefully, we can understand and apply the principles of Eternal Fairness to the microcosms of our lives.
All of us are familiar with the statue of blindfolded justice holding a balance and a sword. Justice demands that the balance be at equilibrium. Each violation of the law tips the scales against the offender, and the only way for the scales to equalize if for justice to wield her sword and exact punishment.
There is an eternal balance for each of us. And to be saved, our balances must be at equilibrium. God has given us commandments. If we keep the commandments, our balances remain at equilibrium. If we disobey the commandments, or sin, our balances tip against us. The only way equalize the balance is for justice to inflict punishment. (2 Nephi 2:10; Alma 42:22.) No good works will justify the balance because as we keep the commandments, God immediately blesses us, and we remain in debt to justice for the laws we have broken. (Mosiah 2:20-24.)
If we could live a perfect life, then Justice would save us. But only Jesus lived perfectly, and none of us are without sin. (See 1 John 1:8). Thus, if we were to receive what we deserve, all of us would become "devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, . . ." (2 Nephi 9:9.)