Fiat Justitia
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Fiat Justitia

Fiat justitia is a Latin phrase, meaning "Let justice be done". Historically in England, a warrant for a writ of error in Parliament[1] or later a petition of right in the courts could be brought only after the king, or on his behalf the Home Secretary, had endorsed fiat justitia on a petition for such a warrant.[2] It was a means of granting leave to appeal by exercise of the royal prerogative.

Famous modern uses

Fiat Justitia appears at the bottom of the 1835 portrait of Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall by Rembrandt Peale, which hangs in a conference room at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. It is also the motto of Richmond County, North Carolina; Jefferson County, New York; University of California, Hastings College of the Law; the Massachusetts Bar Association, University of Saskatchewan College of Law, and the Supreme Court of Nevada, and appears on the official seals of these institutions.

Fiat Justitia is the motto of Britain's Royal Air Force Police as well as the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Fiat Justitia also appears as the motto of Nuffield College, Oxford, and the Sri Lanka law college, and is also found in the Holy Bible on the crest of St. Sylvester's College, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Fiat Justitia is the motto on the town crest of South Molton in North Devon.

See also


  1. ^ Black, Henry Campbell (1995). A law dictionary containing definitions of the terms and phrases of American and English jurisprudence, ancient and modern (2nd, reprint ed.). The Lawbook Exchange. p. 404. ISBN 1-886363-10-2.
  2. ^ Walker, David M (1980). The Oxford Companion to Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 1366. ISBN 0-19-866110-X.

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