Peter Goodrich


When lawyers use images in juristic texts, what is their legal meaning? Specifically, when legal texts print pictures of Justice and of Justice blindfolded, as they did particularly in the sixteenth century in legally authored emblem books and works of doctrine, then what is their significance for lawyers? And more specifically still, what is the proper interpretation of the blindfold, which we find not only on Justice (Justitia) but also on juristic representations of Cupid, Fate (Fortuna), bridegrooms, and the condemned? My answer, I will not tease or otherwise keep you waiting, is that the image of Justitia is technically an aenigma iuris, a legal symbol whose referent has been forgotten.