Where We Live: Justice And The Courts

its Justice that’s become the icon of democracy

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Chion Wolf
Judith Resnik
Photo:Chion Wolf
Dennis Curtis
Photo:Chion Wolf
Where We Live: Justice and the Courts
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Where We Live: Justice and the Courts

Of the four cardinal virtues, why is lady justice the only one who has a statue in courthouses around the world?

Yeah, in case you didn’t remember - those other virtues, Temperence, Prudence and Fortitude all seemingly have some role to play in our systems of law and governance.   But its Justice that’s become the icon of democracy.

Yale Law professors Judith Resnik and Denny Curtis have published an enormous new book called “Representing Justice” – It explores how justice has been represented throughout history, in early drawings and modern architecture. From Charles Schulz’s “lady justice” a depiction of Lucy van Pelt, blindfolded, holding a sword and scales; to the loving display of a lawyer’s battered corduroy jacket in a Minnesota courthouse, the authors explore how these images of justice have, over time, influenced the development of courts and governments.


Upcoming Appearances:
Arts and Ideas: June 22, 5:30PM – Talk entitled: “Identity, Politics, and Rights in the Art and Practice of Justice.” At Yale Center for British Art



Listener Email from Brandon

When I think of Justice, I don't think of a single idea or definition. There is "poetic justice" in some instances where irony, vengeance or revenge comes into play. And then there is philosophical or idealistic justice where we buy into it this notion or idea, and sometimes it disappoints us. I recall Bob Dylan's lines in "Hurricane":

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder “one,” guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game