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Is this blindfolded statue in front of the courts doing the "Bird Box Challenge"?

7 months ago Viggnes

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.

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You’ve probably seen a similar statue or image on TV if you’re a fan of courtroom dramas like ‘Law & Order’. And if you’ve been avidly following social media trends, you’d find that the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ from Netflix’s latest horror movie ‘Birdbox’ is all the buzz right now. So if you’re not already familiar with it, the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ involves performing specific or daily activities whilst blindfolded.

Is it a mere coincidence then that a statue of a blindfolded lady often depicted with a sword in one hand and a balance/scale (or ‘dacing’ as we Malaysians call it) on the other, graces many court complexes around the world? Was she doing the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ before it was mainstream? 

Images credit Wikipedia

Or could all this common symbolism point to a more sinister hidden plot at hand, as conspiracy theorists would like us to believe, demonstrating perhaps the Illuminati or other secret organisations global monopoly over the court system?

Let’s not get carried away, we explore her identity below.

 

Who is she? The Origin Story.

She was a Goddess. It’s starting to sound like a superhero movie isn’t it? Well the great ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans each had a goddess devoted to the concept of justice for all.

The Egyptians worshiped the Goddess Maat, whose many roles included serving as the final judge in the afterlife. The Greeks named their goddess of fairness “Themis” (one of Zeus wives) who presided justice over the Gods, while her daughter, Dike, had power over human justice. The Romans treated their goddess, Justitia (or Iustitia in Latin) as a symbolic personification of justice rather than a deity.
 
Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead with Anubis weighing a deceased’s heart on a scale against Maat’s Feather of Truth.
Image credit www.experience-ancient-egypt.com

Through the ages, these goddesses evolved into a towering figure seen in our courts and legal institutions representing justice in all its glory. She’s known to us today commonly as ‘Lady Justice’.

 

She represents 3 major elements of justice

If Thor were to be the God of Hammers (pun intended), would ‘Lady Justice’ be the Goddess of Scales? Not quite. Let’s take a look at some of her distinctive features and what they mean.

BLINDFOLD -  Somewhere around the 16th - 17th Century, ‘Lady Justice’ began appearing in a blindfold. The blindfold represents impartiality, and shows us that justice will be applied regardless of our money, power, race, religion or any other social class. Whilst the blindfold is a common feature on  statues across the world, it isn’t necessarily present on every Lady Justice statue. 

Singapore’s Lady Justice is without a blindfold.
Image credit Wikipedia

SWORD - Back in the day, a sword demonstrated authority and meant justice is immediate and final. It’s also said that the ‘double-edged sword’ represents not only the enforcement of the law but the defense of innocent parties as well.

SCALES - The scales (‘dacing’) seems to have evolved into a universal symbol of fairness,and as we mentioned above, dates back all the way to ancient Egypt. From a legal perspective, Lady Justice’s scales symbolize the weighing of evidence between parties during the judicial process.

 

Where is she in Malaysia?

For some reason, we’ve been hard-pressed to find a statue or image of Lady Justice here in Malaysia. However, the elements of justice that she features are universal and can be seen all around us.

As we Malaysians all know, the ‘dacing’ that Lady Justice features is also the logo of a prominent local political party.

The Malaysian Bar Council seems to use the symbol of a scale balanced on a sword.

If you know the reason why ‘Lady Justice’ can hardly be seen in Malaysia, reach out to us and we’ll add it into the article.

Tags:
justice
ladyjustice
mythology
scales
blindfold
birdbox
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Viggnes

Like a hot cup of coffee in the morning, my writting style aims to be refreshing and stimulate bowel movement.


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