Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Justitia (Justice Lady

                                Justitia (Lady Justice)

The Lady Justice, the symbol akin to the Legal System, its significance is deliberated in this article with an overview on justice, nyaya and Mother and Child symbol of Supreme Court of India.

        The origin may be Themis, a Greek mythological goddess, who advised Zeus after his purge of the old pantheon. A daughter of Themis and Zeus, Dike, known as a goddess of justice but not divine justice, presided over the apportionment of things among mortals, the protection of individuals and the social and political order. At times, Dike is said to be the same as Astraea. Astraea is also a daughter of Themis and Zeus and and is known as a goddess of justice. In western tradition, Lady Justice sometimes wears and carries a sword and scales. She symbolises the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, avarice, prejudice, or favour.

What Does She Look Like?

The Lady Justice statue is usually in the form of a woman who is standing or sitting. She is typically dressed in a toga-like robe, maybe barefoot, and her hair is either flowing over her shoulders or braided in a bun or around her head. She holds a balance, or two-tray scale in one hand and a sword in the other; usually the scales are in the left hand and the sword in the right, but this is not always so. Sometimes, she also wears a blindfold over her eyes.

The Symbols of Justice

Balance Scales: These represent impartiality and the obligation of the law (through its representatives) to weigh the evidence presented to the court. Each side of a legal case needs to be looked at and comparisons made as justice is done.

Sword: This item symbolizes enforcement and respect, and means that justice stands by its decision and ruling, and is able to take action. The fact that the sword is unsheathed and very visible is a sign that justice is transparent and is not an implement of fear. A double-edged blade signifies that justice can rule against either of the parties once the evidence has been perused, and it is bound to enforce the ruling as well as protect or defend the innocent party.

 Blindfold: This first appeared on a Lady Justice statue in the 16th century, and has been used intermittently since then. Apparently, its original significance was that the judicial system was tolerating abuse or ignorance of aspects of the law. However, in modern times, the blindfold represents the impartiality and objectivity of the law and that it doesn’t let outside factors, such as politics, wealth or fame, influence its decisions.

                 Because the meanings in each token are unstable – having the capability to change when juxtaposed with one another, creating a combined effect or exhibiting an interaction – it is important to understand how metonymic tokens work. The metonymic token can advance the critic’s reading of a polysemic text in that each whole artifact constructed of parts will consist of multiple meanings within those parts that can distinctively stand alone. Each part in itself also expands hermeneutic depth. For example, after analyzing the metonymic tokens above, notice how this approach adds precision, texture, and cultural insight to our understanding of the blindfold, appealing to the impartiality of justice to some, but also stoicism and the need for a rational society to others. We have seen also how the scales are used as a grand metaphor for an empirically driven tool that combats skepticism and the sword that forms a “double-edged” meaning that indicates a dual requirement for justice in society. These readings apart from each other – but also integrated in Justitia – show the usefulness of the metonymic token, a concept that helps us to make sense of an artifact or message that we are confronted with in our daily lives. By also expanding to the hermeneutics of MTI, we were able to make sense of interacting metonymic tokens, which have opened doors to new ways of parsing visual rhetoric.

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