02 Jul Why is ‘Lady Justice’ in front of Nigerian courts?
In front of every Judicial building and all the courts in Nigeria, you will see a statue or picture of a blind folded woman, with a sword in one hand, and scales in another. Ever wondered who she is and what she represents? Well wonder no more; LawPàdí will educate you a bit about her and her role in the courts system.
She is referred to as ‘Lady Justice’ in modern day parlance, however she is the Roman Goddess ‘Justitia‘, who is equivalent to the Greek Goddess Dike. Justitia is an allegorical personification of the moral force in the judicial system.
In her depictions, there are 3 symbolic representations:
Lady Justice is always blindfolded. The blindfolds symbolize the fact that justice should be impartial, and not favour any party. Being blind therefore enforces the neutrality, the idea is when you can’t see who they are, you can’t be partial to either.
The blindfolds only became a fixture around the 15th century, and that is why in certain jurisdictions (like in front of the Old Bailey in England), Lady Justice appears without her blindfold.
She is most often depicted with a set of scales typically, upon which she measures the strengths of a case’s support and opposition. It’s referred to as the scales of justice.
She carries a double-edged sword, symbolizing the power of Reason and Justice, which may be wielded either for or against any party.
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