Today, the symbol of justice is the balance, which represents balance and equality. It is thus presumed that the balance expresses the search for a fair, precise and exact evaluation of the facts in question.
This symbol is a synthesis of different cultural traditions, such as the Egyptian and the Greek, which have given it its current meaning.
What is Justice:
Justice is a set of essential values on which a society and the State must be based. E hese values are respect, fairness, equality and freedom .
In a formal sense, justice is the set of codified norms that the State, through the competent organisms, dictates, enforces and sanctions when they are disrespected, suppressing the action.
Types of justice
There are four approaches or ways to apply justice:
It is based on the equitable distribution of wealth or resources, in such a way that all citizens are benefited.
It is a way of administering justice that comes from Aristotelian thought and whose application has been controversial in practice, given that there is no unanimity on the criteria that must be considered for such distribution to be of benefit to all involved.
For some authors, it must deprive equity (that each person obtain the wealth they deserve according to their effort). In other cases, the concept of equality prevails (all people must obtain the same amount), while other authors believe that wealth should be distributed more in cases of greater need.
This type of justice focuses on the well-being of the victim rather than on the punishment of the victimizer. In this sense, what is sought is to repair materially or symbolically the damage caused.
According to this approach, victim and victimizer must be involved in the search for justice. To do this, the victimizer must understand and recognize the damage he has caused.
An example of restorative justice are the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs , established in communities in the United States and Canada where the parties involved meet, talk about what happened and how it affected them. , and agree on how to restore the damage caused.
This type of justice establishes norms and rules that must be respected by all people equally, and establishes sanctions of various kinds in the event that citizens incur in fault.
To exercise this type of justice it is necessary to have an impartial criterion, while to be prosecuted by it the representation of an expert in the matter is required, that is, a lawyer.
The administration of procedural justice is carried out in the courts and in the bodies created by the State for this purpose.
Retributive justice establishes that each person must be treated in the same way in which he treats others, therefore, when incurring a fault, he must be punished. What is expected of this type of justice is that the retroactive effect persuades other people to commit crimes.
An example of retributive justice would be human rights violations, in which although the perpetrators are not always punished immediately, they are eventually punished by local justice or by international organizations.
The term “social justice” does not have a clear origin, but it is known that it began to be implemented in the 18th century in Europe to refer to the rules that had to be followed in order to maintain social order.
In this sense, part of the obligations of a monarch was to provide what would be the laws or rules that allow coexistence and their respective sanctions in case of being violated.
However, the term acquired new connotations at the end of the 19th century with the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, the consequent capitalism and the new economic and social dynamics. At that time, the British socialist movement would be in charge of adopting the concept to propose a balanced distribution of goods within a society, which is reminiscent of the Aristotelian vision of distributive justice.justice symbol
In 1919, at the end of the First World War, the World Labor Organization incorporated this notion in the first article of its constitution, expressing that permanent peace is only possible if it is based on social justice.
While in 1931, the Catholic Church mentions the term for the first time in its Social Doctrine, used by Pope Pius XI, who expressed that social justice should be applied in such a way as to reduce the gap between the wealthy and the poorest.
On the other hand, in 2007 the United Nations Organization proclaimed February 20 of each year as World Day of Social Justice .
Divine justice is that which is applied by God, depending on the fulfillment of certain norms or doctrines. In Christianity, these rules are included in The Ten Commandments, a kind of decalogue in which the guidelines of behavior that human beings must follow to lead a harmonious coexistence are dictated. justice symbol
The breach of the commandments, from the Christian point of view, brings with it a divine sanction or punishment, while its fulfillment merits salvation and the protection of God.
The highest expression of divine justice is the Last Judgment, which refers to the event in which all human beings will be judged for the acts they have committed on Earth, and from where they will be sent to suffer eternal punishment or will be received in the heavenly kingdom, depending on their behavior.
For his part, in Hinduism divine justice is associated with the concept of karma, a law that is executed in every human being according to their actions. It is a kind of retributive justice in which each action has a consequence, so the ideal is to seek good action according to the principles of this religious doctrine, to avoid that the consequences are negative and affect the present or future life, represented in the concept of reincarnation.
Justice in philosophy
Throughout history, many philosophers have dealt with defining the concept of justice. Already from Ancient Greece, Plato said that the individual should come out of the darkness, from the cavern of ignorance, since the person becomes just in the same measure that he possesses knowledge.
In this sense, the individual with more knowledge may be fairer, which translates the idea that rulers must have extensive knowledge to know how to govern and to really do justice. justice symbol
The philosopher Aristotle defined justice as giving each citizen what corresponds to him according to his needs and contributions in society, from which the principle of distributive justice started.
While for the enlightened philosopher Inmauel Kant, the justice of a State must watch over three fundamental principles: the freedom of individuals, equality between them and the independence of each member of a community.
For his part, Hans Kelsen, Austrian jurist and philosopher of great relevance in the 20th century, indicated that justice is a natural right that prevails over positive law, since if it goes against the fundamental rights of the human being, it cannot talk about justice.
Justice as a value
Justice as a value is the moral principle of each individual who decides to live, giving each person what belongs or belongs to him. Justice is part of the social, moral and democratic values, from there its importance derives.
Justice is a virtue that all individuals must put into practice in a coherent way and in search of both their own good and that of society.
What is expected is that each individual respects the established social norms and contributes to the maintenance of a harmonious environment. And in a situation of injustice, the ideal is for each person to act with rectitude and impartiality.
To achieve this, it is necessary that justice be a value instilled by the family, reinforced by educational institutions, respected and protected by the State and its institutions and put into practice by society.
The Lady of Justice symbool
The lady of justice constitutes an allegory of justice inspired by Greek mythology, particularly the goddess Themis , whose Roman equivalent is Iustitia .
The attributes of Themis or Istitia make it the representation of equality, strength and impartiality. Those attributes are: the scale, the sword and the blindfold.
The balance of the lady of justice is in balance, symbolically representing equality before the law and the “just” measure to be taken by the judge.
The sword represents the strength or firmness of the decision that has been made, which cannot be evaded by the judged.
Finally, blindfolds represent the value of fairness. Justice does not stop to look at the origin or the social position of each one, but determines what is correct according to the laws. This is where the popular saying comes from: “Justice is blind.”
The sword symbolizes the law, which must always be observed.
Recall the dialogue between Socrates and Criton when the former is sentenced to death. Socrates does not accept arguments and chooses the law on the possibility of escape because she was above everything and as a good citizen he had to respect and accept it even if it was unfair.
For this concept, he chose death to flee. Out of respect for her.
The balance is synonymous with equity, balance, the just means.
Of the prudent appreciation of the facts and of the test carried out by the magistrate according to logic, common sense and the experience gained in exercising all the options that the law offers to the man with vocation and convictions in that discipline.
Blindfolded in fact implies that she is not blind. What would you need the bandage for if it wasn’t? It shows the impartiality that the judge must have, his rejection of any type of pressure, be it political, ideological or of any kind.
Obviously, of the symbols indicated, the one of greatest relevance is that of blindfolded since the impartiality that it implies guarantees legal security, an essential requirement for any democratic society.
It is worth reiterating that Justice is not blind, it simply covers its eyes so as not to see the people involved, so that nothing violates its objectivity; but it is by no means blind, not only because if it were so, the bandage would be unnecessary, but because it needs to have its eyes wide open to decide in each case, undoubtedly distinguish the truth from the lie and resolve the most appropriate in each question.
After all that has been said, it does not cease to amaze me that the representation of La Justicia that appears along with the publication of the background of the candidates for the vacant positions of the Superior Court of Justice (published in several editions of the Río Negro newspaper), does not carry a bandage. in his eyes.
However, some depictions of the lady of justice are not blindfolded.
The balance in Egyptian culture justice symmol
The oldest record of the balance related to the meaning of justice belongs to the Egyptian culture. For the ancient Egyptians, the soul of the deceased had to face different stages before being able to reach the beyond.
The Egyptians had three gods linked to the ritual of death: Anubis, Tot and Osiris. Once the soul had gone through different tests, it had to appear before these gods, who subjected it to one last test. justice symbol
The test consisted of placing the human heart on one of the plates of a scale, which was believed to have recorded good deeds. In the other plate of the balance the so-called “truth pen” was placed. This was an ostrich feather that, according to tradition, contained evil deeds. If the heart weighed more than the pen, the person could access the last dwelling.
scales of justice symbol
Around cities, museums and courts we find the representation of a scale that takes on a decisive symbolic value, beyond its functionality.
Normally the balance is the symbol of justice and civil behavior, and, in particular, of measure, prudence, balance, the comparison between actions and obligations.
To fully understand the meaning of this tool we must go back to the time of the Egyptians, the first of which we have evidence in tomb graffiti. In fact, Anubis, god of the Underworld (later replaced by Osiris), weighed the hearts of the dead and, to enter the underworld.
This shouldn’t have weighed more than a feather. For the ancient Greeks the balance was initially the symbol of Themis, goddess of justice who maintained order, protected the righteous and punished the unrighteous.
This task then passed to his daughter Dike who, in classic iconography, is represented with the scales in his hand and blindfolded eyes, with the task of protecting the courts.
Today, the balance represents, or at least should represent, the symbol of justice inside and outside the courtrooms.
But, it is not so. The new society, better still the one that arrogantly assumes the right to do politics, has renounced the privilege of balances. The balance is considered
by the politician to be a genuine deterrent.
The politician must always be right, otherwise he would end up being considered a talentless, poorly lit and lackluster man.
He understood that by placing “rights” on one scale and “duties” on the other, the needle would remain faithfully anchored to the center.
All of this is not acceptable. The weighing pan must hang on the side of those who exercise power with arrogance, presumption and with excessive ease.
What was the genius found? The dishes are always two.
The rights of legislating and imposing questionable decisions rest carefully on the former.
On the other should be placed the duties deriving from the decisions taken. If all this were done
correctly, the dishes would remain in balance. And here is the brilliant idea!
One of the dishes, on which the duties should be allocated, has been deprived of the fund, so that the content placed on it ends up inexorably on the ground, allowing the other to exercise all the weight in favor of the alleged rights.
And this is what is happening right now in the matter of the controversial autonomy required by some northern regions.
I heard and read the heavy statements of two regional presidents who, in a peremptory tone, told the Prime Minister not to ignore the results of a special referendum made in only two regions.
With all the urgency that the case requires, the Government must take due decisions. That is, it must grant the claimed autonomy without hesitation whatsoever. At this point I would like to
ask myself a question, if possible.
The national referendum on the “reform of the Constitution and the abolition of the provinces”, on which the “sovereign people” expressed the overwhelming majority of the decisive refusal, what happened to it?
Already. He ended up on the ground. In oblivion. The plate on which it had been placed was bottomless.
Well. If the principle of the regional referendum, affirmed by the two Presidents, is sacrosanct, equally sacred, exponentially, it should be the national one which, moreover, should enjoy the right of priority, having been carried out a few years earlier.
It would be the case, perhaps, that the Government decided, once and for all, to put a definite brake on these forward races of the Regions, also because they have the big responsibility of having heavily determined the growth of the public debt.
It would not be wrong, however, if the government decided to resume some basic functions of which it was expropriated by the regions.
Public institutions would work better. The services would be assured to the citizen with
method and punctuality.
The laws of the state would be uniformly applied throughout the national territory, without the overflowing regional interpretations. Under the scales, normally, a writing appears that many ignore: “The law is the same for everyone”. We therefore begin to give concrete course to the will of the “sovereign people”.
Until recently, struggles for justice took place against the background of a framework that was taken for granted: the territorially delimited state. With this “Westphalian” image of political space assumed by default, there was little discussion of the scope of justice. Today, human rights activists and international feminists reject the view that justice is only a domestic relationship between citizens of the same country. Opposing injustices that cross borders, they make the scale of justice a matter of explicit struggle.
Statue of justice
The statue of Justice, also called the Lady of Justice, is associated with the legal system and the principles of justice and equality.
The allegory of Justice is today a mix between the symbols that characterize both the Greek goddess Themis of divine justice and the Roman goddess of justice Justitia or Iustitia.
It is one of the best known and most represented allegories in the world, especially as a sculpture, present in Palaces of Justices on all continents.
The statue of Justice was inspired by the Greek goddess Themis, which means order . She is also known as the goddess of prophecies, oaths, and divine law.
Themis was also known for being the goddess who imposed order on the natural world and therefore associated with the seasons of the year. Order over nature and humanity was his role in the Universe, so people from kings to the humblest peasants sought his advice.justice symbol
The goddess Themis is the daughter of the god Uranus (heaven) and the goddess Gaia (earth) therefore she is considered one of the titans who were born in the primordia of the times described by Hesiod in the primordial myth .
Themis is the second wife and counselor to the god Zeus, with whom she conceived three daughters called ‘The Hours’. The hours carried Venus from the sea to the world of the immortals. They represent concepts associated with order:
- It says: it is the personification of human justice. The Roman goddess of justice Justitia or Iustitia is believed to derive from Dice rather than from Themis.
- Irene: she is the personification of peace and wealth.
- Eunomia: the goddess of laws and legislation. In Rome she was also known as the goddess of discipline. It was considered as one of the hours.
The classic elements that the statue of Justice usually holds or has are: a scale, a sword and a blindfold.
The scale : it is the symbol of modern justice where the Lady of Justice carefully balances the weights on each side. Also called the scales of Justice. In the balance usually appear elements that are counteracted such as a dove and the sign of Gemini. The pigeon would represent the fair demands and Gemini would represent the demands of many people and / or witnesses who give confusing information. justice symbol
The sword : represents the execution of the measures. Themis uses the sword as a means of ‘convincing’ both parties of their rational and fair decision.
Blindfolded : This symbol only appears from the fifteenth century. The blindfold represents objective and impartial decisions without influences of wealth, politics, fame or infamy.
see also peace symbol