Scales of Justice (Picture And Meaning: All You Need To Know)

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What Are The Scales of Justice 

You typically see the Lady Justice (the Goddess of Justice) holding the scales of justice suspended from one of her hands.

The Lady Justice is an allegorical personification of the forces driving the justice system and the scales of justice, suspended in one of her hands, represent the weighing of evidence.

In most depictions of Lady Justice, she holds the scale with one hand suspended in the air.

This symbolizes that the evidence presented by one party is evaluated in relation to the evidence of the opposing party. 

In addition, the scale lacks a foundation indicating that the evidence should be weighed on its own merit without the other intervening forces.  

There are many depictions of the scales of justice on its own (without Lady Justice).

Many law firms, lawyers, and professionals operating in the legal system will use the depiction of the scales of justice on their websites, in their logos, or in other ways, to represent that they are legal professionals adhering to the same moral forces.

Scales of Justice Meaning

In today’s modern legal system, we use the scales of justice to represent truth and fairness.

You can have the scales of justice depicted along or held by the Lady Justice.

What the scale of justice symbol means is that the law or the judicial system searches for the truth by weighing evidence.

Also, the evaluation of the strength of the case is done in a fair manner as the scale evaluates the balance of evidence of one party in relation to another without any other intervening forces.

The party that is able to present the more complete and convincing evidence will have more “weight” in the evidence evaluation process.

Fair Evaluation of Evidence

The evaluation of evidence by the courts must be done in a fair manner without regard to any other variables or forces other than the evidence presented by the parties.

When a judge or a jury renders a decision or verdict, they must consider all the evidence presented by the parties to reach a conclusion.

The more a party is able to present credible and admissible evidence, the more the scale can tip in his or her favor.

You can consider the scale as a whole to be a legal case before a judge (or jury) and each side of the scale to represent a party to the case.

The judge is appointed by law to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties and reach a conclusion based on the evaluation of the evidence presented in a fair manner.

Origins of The Scale

What is the origin of the scales of justice?

Today, the scale of justice is the symbol of justice that began centuries ago.

The scale symbolizes the people’s inherent right to seek and obtain justice while at the same time for the justice authorities to administer justice by fairly evaluating the evidence presented in a matter.

There are many scales of justice pictures or depictions where it is held by the Lady Justice.

When the scale is held by Lady Justice, you have the incorporation of the divine with individual rights in society. 

Originally, Justitia, the Roman Goddess of Justice was depicted as holding balanced scales, a sword, and sometimes a blindfold.

You then hand Themis, the Greek Goddess of Justice that was known for her ability to foresee the future but who was not blindfolded nor did she hold a sword.

Also, in the ancient Egyptian culture, you had Maat that was the Goddess of truth, justice, and order. 

Today’s symbol of justice is a Lady holding the scales in one hand, a sword in another hand, and is blindfolded.

As such, over the centuries, the scale that was portrayed with the Romand Goddess has remained an integral part of the symbol of justice today.

Lady Justice 

There are many depictions out there where Lady Justice (or The Goddess of Justicia) is the one holding the justice scale.

Lady Justice is essentially the personification of the moral attributes of the modern judicial system.

The attributes of justice presented by Lady Justice are:

  • The blindfold
  • The scales
  • A sword

The blindfold means that justice must be served impartially.

In other words, no matter if you are rich or poor, powerful or not, famous or not, or have other social status, the law should treat all subjects in the same manner.

Lady Justice generally holds the scales of justice suspended in the air symbolizing the fact that evidence must be evaluated on its merit and in relation to the evidence presented by the other party.

Finally, the sword is the symbol of the power of justice and where justice must be served swiftly and the decision be final.

It is believed that Lady Justice originates from the ancient Egyptian goddesses Maat and Isis along with the Greek Goddess Dike.

Scales of Justice Image

The picture of scales of justice or Lady Justice are familiar and known by many worldwide.

In different countries, you have countless varieties of the interpretation of the scales along with Lady Justice holding the scale.

Although there are many images of scales of justice, scales of justice pictures, Lady Justice, and a combination of the two, here are two images that we have identified that illustrates the scale and Lady Justice:

scales of justice

And the Lady:

Lady Justice

There is no question that the Scales of Justice and Lady Justice represent the most notable and recognizable symbols relating to the legal system.

When you see the statue of Lady Justice or any form of Scales of Justice statutes, you will immediately think of:

  • Fairness
  • Truth 
  • Appreciation of evidence 
  • Authority 
  • Opportunity 
  • Justice 
  • Impartiality 
  • Harmony 
  • Law 
  • Order 

Most countries around the world, whether operating under the common law or civil law tend to use scales of justice images and representations to indicate that their judicial system is fair and impartial.

Scale of Justice Takeaways 

There you have it folks!

What are the scales of justice?

Why are the scales of justice unbalanced?

The scales of justice represent the most widely known symbol of the legal system.

You will see courthouses, law firms, lawyers, and any judicial body use a version of the scale of justice to indicate that they are part of the legal system.

Generally, you’ll see either an unbalanced scale of justice on its own or held by Lady Justice in one of her hands.

The reason why most depictions show an unbalanced scale is to show that the evidence is tipping in favor of one party as opposed to another.

Imagine the scale to be a judge or jury and each scale to be a party to a lawsuit.

The more the evidence presented by one party is credible and substantiates its allegations, the more the balance will weigh in the person’s favor.

When the scale is depicted with Lady Justice, further characterizations of the legal system become apparent.

Lady Justice is blindfolded (the law and justice are impartial), there is a scale (the weighing of evidence), and the sword (the power of justice and authority to make a swift and final decision).

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Legal Scales of Justice

  • The scales of justice represent one of the most notable and commonly used symbols of the justice system
  • Each side of the scale represents the evidence presented by a party seeking justice where the overall weight of the evidence presented will tip the scale in the favor of one versus the other
  • The stand represents the judicial system that is tasked with the mandate to evaluate the evidence presented by the parties
  • You will often see the scales of justice held by a female figure holding the scales in one hand and a sword in another while being blindfolded (she is called Lady Justice)
  • The attributes of Lady Justice is that justice is blind (will treat everyone impartially), is fair (the scale weighs the evidence), and authoritative (the sword cuts through conflict and punishes the guilty)
Angel of Justice
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