The Legal Proverb: Fiat iustitia et pereat mundus. Das Rechtssprichwort: Fiat iustitia et pereat mundus

Detlef Liebs

Keywords: Law, Proverb. History, Usage

Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

DOI: 10.17160/josha.4.6.365

Languages: German

The paper explains the background of the common Latin proverb use in the field of law: "fiat iustitia et pereat mundus". The history goes back to pope Hadrian VI. in 1522 and then the article discusses the changing of its meaning over the centuries through its translation and its usage. The proverb that was already used by Ferdinand I., Martin Luther and later Immanuel Kant in different contexts made its way through the centuries to become a popular saying for current lawyers. Liebs criticizes that with time, the different usage of the phrase led to the loss of its original meaning. Photo on the cover: Lorenzo Sabbatini (1530–1576). Justitia, 1565 Palazzo Vecchio. Photographer: Sailko, 16 April 2014. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ricetto,_affreschi_di_Lorenzo_Sabatini,_1565_,_06_giustizia.JPG

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