Lady Justice

Lady Justice

:"Lady Justice" or "Lord Justice" is also the title of judges on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales."

Lady Justice (Iustitia, the Roman Goddess of Justice and sometimes, simply "Justice") is an allegorical personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system. Since the Renaissance, Justitia has frequently been depicted as a bare-breasted woman carrying a sword and scales, and sometimes wearing a blindfold. Her modern iconography, which frequently adorns courthouses and courtrooms, conflates the attributes of several goddesses who embodied Right Rule for Greeks and Romans, blending Roman blindfolded Fortuna with Hellenistic Greek Tyche.

Justitia's attributes parallel those of the Hellenic deity Themis, the embodiment of divine order, law and custom, in her aspect as the personification of the divine rightness of law. However, the mythological connection is not a direct one. Themis' daughter Dike was imagined carrying scales: "If some god had been holding level the balance of Dike" is an image in a surviving fragment of Bacchylides's poetry.

Justitia is most often depicted with a set of weighing scales typically suspended from her left hand, upon which she measures the strengths of a case's support and opposition. She is also often seen carrying a double-edged sword in her right hand, symbolizing the power of Reason and Justice, which may be wielded either for or against any party.

As stated above, Lady Justice is often depicted wearing a blindfold. This is done in order to indicate that justice is (or should be) meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of the identity, power, or weakness: blind justice and blind impartiality. The earliest Roman coins depicted Justitia with the sword on one hand and the scale on the other, but with her eyes uncovered. [See "The Scales of Justice as Represented in Engravings, Emblems, Reliefs and Sculptures of Early Modern Europe" in G. Lamoine, ed., "Images et representations de la justice du XVie au XIXe siecle (Toulouse: University of Toulose-Le Mirail, 1983)" at page 8.] Justitia was only commonly represented as "blind" since about the end of the fifteenth century. The first known representation of blind Justice is Hans Gieng's 1543 statue on the "Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen" (Fountain of Justice) in Berne.

Justice in sculpture

References

External links

*commonscat-inline|Iustitia
* [http://www.usdoj.gov:80/jmd/ls/dojseal.htm DOJ Seal - History and Motto]
* [http://www.commonlaw.com/Justice.html Origin of Lady of Justice]
* [http://members.tripod.com/mdean/justice.html Images of the Goddess of Justice]
* [http://radio.cz/pictures/policie/spravedlnost1.jpgPhotos of Lady Justice]


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