Who is Justitia in fact?
Justitia is the goddess of jurisdiction, she embodies justice, the moral content of law in the Western world. On the Justitia representations frequently seen in Hungarian courthouses, the symbol of jurisdiction holds a sword in one hand and a balance in the other, and – apart from a couple of rare exceptions – her eyes are covered by a kerchief. The sword is the symbol of the power and the national enforceability of law, the balance represents the equal rights of the parties to the proceeding, and it symbolises that everyone is equal before the law. The covered eyes on the one hand figure that the just law does not discriminate anyone based on origin, power, weakness, and on the other hand, they mean that Justitia cannot be influenced, she makes her decisions free from influence: she ponders only the action and not the person who committed it.
The Justitia statue at the Curia of Hungary (The recording of Máté Diósi prepared for ‘Court in Focus’ photographic competition of the National Judicial Authority)
The symbolic representation of justice can be traced back to Egyptian hieroglyphs. In ancient Egypt’s beliefs, Maat (whose priests had been judges in fact) had been the goddess of law and rights and she embodied order and perfect balance, but the symbolic illustration of legality in female figure occurs also in ancient Greece. The recent illustration – with a cup and sceptre in her hands - derives from the Early Imperial Period. She appears in works of fine art across Europe since the 13th century and she is most frequently represented with a broadsword and a twin-pan balance in her hands. In the form now known, Justitia had likely appeared first on the sarchophagus of Pope Clement II. prepared in 1247 – writes Dávid Barkóczi in the Hungarian magazine titled ‘Joghistória’ published in March 2015. The best known Justitia statue in Hungary is the work of Alajos Stróbl, which currently can be seen at the hall of the Curia of Hungary. The 3 meters tall marble statue stands on a pedestal decorated with an escutcheon, and its speciality is given by its uncovered eyes.
Zalaegerszeg, 11 October 2016