Justice, With Eyes Wide Open

Here’s a book for the lawyer on your Christmas gift list: Representing Justice, by Judith Resnik and Dennis E. Curtis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010). From the blurb:

By mapping the remarkable run of the icon of Justice, a woman with scales and sword, and by tracing the development of public spaces dedicated to justice—courthouses—the authors explore the evolution of adjudication into its modern form as well as the intimate relationship between the courts and democracy.

From the review in the New York Times, we learn:

Lady Justice’s familiar blindfold did not become an accessory until well into the 17th century. And even then it was uncommon because of the profoundly negative connotations blindfolds carried for medieval and Renaissance audiences, who viewed them as emblems not of impartiality but of deception…

Interested as I am in the authors’ views on “threats to the modern judiciary,” I think I’d be even keener to follow their pursuit of the images of Themis, Dike, “from the statue at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa to one presiding over a constitutional court in Azerbaijan.”

Don’t know about the Azerbaijani justice, but, as you see from the image here, the Canadian one has her eyes wide open.

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