Majestic temples, celestial gates, imposing columns and blindfolded Justitia populate a past parted from, and yet not a past departed. They continue to surround and transport the public through the spaces of its courthouses, and command the metamorphosis of all who pass the threshold of the Law to become judge, jury, spectator, innocent or guilty. The structures of the courthouse predispose the verdict before the legal process of decision making is complete. Architecture and Law join hands to resist and stifle the voices of change and of difference as traditional structures continue to shape legal identity. Outsiders now inhabiting the spaces inside the Law have it formed the concepts of justice, equality and liberty with a knowledge of difference. From Divine law's to human creation, from imposed structures to situated constructions, and from neutral norms to contextual relevance, past ideas continuously yield to future ones in Law's eternal becoming. And yet a moment arrives when changes have left so deep and lasting an imprint on the face of the Law to warrant parallel architectural transformations.
"House of Justice: Feminism in Architecture,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism:
2, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol3/iss2/3