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?
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.
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.
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.
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.