It is not uncommon to hear one ask why is the lady justice is blindfolded. Lady Justice wears a blindfold and carries a sword and a scale. All these items are significant symbols of the legal justice system.
Its statute is very common in legal, educational institutions, law offices, and courthouses. The lady of justice concept is very old, dating back to ancient Egyptian and Greek times.
Let’s look at everything concerning the lady of Justice in this article. But before we get started, let’s find out why the lady of Justice wears a blindfold.
So, Why Is The Lady Of Justice Blindfolded?
The lady of Justice is blindfolded to prevent her from developing prejudice during decision-making. She will not see anyone’s race, sex, wealth, fame, and power when serving Justice.
Since humans can never be full without bias, lady justice is a reminder that bias has a role in shaping the legal justice system.
History Of Lady Justice
To better understand lady justice, you must learn a little history about her. Her balance scale dates back to ancient times of Egyptian mythology, and it is the oldest representation of Justice and Judgment.
The ancient Egyptian book of death is depicted as the Judgment of a man’s soul after death. They believed that the soul was eternal and that it would receive a fate after death according to the integrity of its contemporary life.
Egyptians weighed the dead’s heart against an ostrich feather. The feather was the property of the goddess of social and cosmic order, goddess Maat. Greece also had a goddess named Themis, whose representation covers divine order, law, and Justice.
Themis became one of the Olympian god’s wives, Zeus, and together, they had a daughter, and they named her Dike, the goddess of moral order and temporal law. As the Roman Empire took over, Goddess Justitia(the lady of Justice) took the place of Themis and Dike.
Justitia is Latin for being just. This word means Justice in English. She was understood by many as the symbol of the virtue of Justice. Justitia portrays a sword, a scale, and a crown. However, people attributed more symbols to her during the ages, including the blindfold.
Justitia had attributed to other symbols, including measurements like compass and protractor or the book of the law replacing the scale.
Today, Justitia is what people come to refer to as lady justice. She is iconic in the courtroom, offices, and anything about fair play.
Interpreting The Symbols Of Justice
Now that you know how lady justice came about, let’s interpret the symbols of Justice. As we had stated, Lady Justice holds three symbols of Justice, the scale, sword, and blindfold.
1. The Scale
It is a tool that holds that can hold one object against another. Egyptians used it to depict the Judgment of a person by weighing their heart against Maat’s ostrich feather.
If the heart is lighter or equal to the feather, they would consider it pure, and it would go to the heavenly afterlife.
The scale reminds us that all mistakes weigh differently. For instance, stealing does not come to the same degree as murder.
The scale of Justice represents an important character of proper Judgment, “the careful measuring of evidence.”
To make a good judgment, you must gather all the evidence in a court of law. The judge has to take time to collect the evidence before making a judgment. It is because more time gathers more evidence.
That is why some cases in the court of law can take months or years before the judge come up with a verdict.
2. The Blindfold
Good Judgment needs objectiveness, meaning that one has to be unbiased. The blindfold represents the blindness to distractions that often influence men to make decisions. It could be money, power, friendship, hate, and jealousy.
It is why we see a snake, a dog, and Lady Justice in certain statues. In the contest, the serpent symbolizes hatred, while the dog represents friendship, and neither should influence one’s Judgment.
This concept is more crucial to court systems. Nonetheless, judges themselves can fall victim to greed and prejudice. That is why there have been some cases in the past of judges accepting bribes.
The blindfold demonstrates that judges should be blind to such distractions to make proper verdicts.
3. The Sword
When you witness an injustice situation due to bias or influence, you ought to die in one way or another.
It is where the sword come in to symbolize offense and defense. Held by the lady of Justice, it symbolizes justice enforcement and its protections.
The sword also symbolizes battle and demonstrates that Justice is constantly battling injustice. It is an early symbol of lady Justice.
Failing to call out an unjust is a cowardly move. However, some occasions are tougher than others and might need a lion’s courage.
Courage is often associated with Justice, which is why we see the lion portrayed with lady justice.
The unjust derives from sloth, greed, gluttony, wrath, and envy. However, the worst is when injustice conceals behind a mask pretending to be Justice.
That’s why you might observe some paintings of lady justice holding a sword on top of a man with a mask or an evil being.
Why Does A Woman Symbolize Justice?
Though males have also portrayed Justice, her female symbolization has more resonation with the collective mind.
It is because the female gives birth. Manifestation comes after order, and Themis, the goddess of Justice, comes before Zeus, the king of gods.
She nurtured him before marrying and becoming his mind. Themis is both the moral order and the natural order.
She’s the order that yields and aids manifestation.
Whether any organization is just or unjust, she holds the scale on which humans base their actions. She wears a crown since Justice sets the order. The crown symbolizes power, glory, and authority.
A woman also symbolizes Justice because she was the goddess of Justice in ancient mythologies. In Greek, Romanian and Egyptian mythologies, Justice was represented by female deities.
What Does Cornucopia Represent In Lady Justice
The cornucopia is a mythical horn of abundance. It continuously gives in plenty, thus, symbolizing abundance, prosperity, and nourishment.
Often, it is associated with goddesses who provide and nurture, like Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, and Fortuna, the goddess of luck.
Lady Justice’s cornucopia displays that her virtue nourishes the soul of humanity and will continue as long we keep living.
What Does The Scroll Represent On Lady Justice?
The scroll on lady justice represents law preservation and its presence in all just decision-making systems. Making just decisions is defending and upholding the law.
In the modern world today, judges will only make decisions per the law. Therefore if one is found guilty, the judge will make a verdict based on what the law says.
What Is The Significance Of Lady Justice In Our Lives
The scales of the lady justice demonstrate a difference in the gravity of our wrongdoings. In that case, people cannot face the same punitive measures with different mistakes. For instance, a murderer will serve longer in jail than a litterer.
From the famous saying, don’t judge a book by its cover; lady justice demonstrates why it is so. Time can make a big difference in a man’s Judgment, and one should understand people before judging them.
For instance, you can say that one is bad according to appearance only to find out that they are nice. Therefore, it is evident that one can make better decisions over time.
The blindfold demonstrates that distractions can affect our reasoning, hence our Judgment. Furthermore, one should not be biased by wealth or power when making a judgment.
Hence the judges in the court of law should avoid any form of prejudice while making critical decisions. Consistently having bad Judgment may not put you in jail, but it will make others lose trust in you.
The mirror that lady justice held in her hands in other mythologies teaches us to learn to reflect on our actions. Through self-reflection, we can learn from our wrongdoings and internally make better decisions both now and in the future.
One can achieve foresight through wisdom which comes from self-reflection. Through lady justice, we learn that one can link Justice with prophecy.
Moreover, one can prevent the same mistake because one remembers the consequences. One needs to be blind to their emotional side as it can affect Judgment in a great way.
Now you know why lady justice is blindfolded. With a blindfolded eye, she could make better decisions without being biased based on wealth, power, and materialism.
The reasoning is the basis of all virtuous life and wisdom. Wisdom gives a better understanding of life, and hence one can make better decisions.
Though we may never be entirely just in our Judgment because we are human, we should always strive for Justice.