Canon Law Society of India
Motto: Law for Love and Liberty
The Emblem and its Meaning
Scales of Justice: The Scales of Justice stand for truth and fairness. Everyone is treated equally
in front of law. The depiction of justice with balancing scales goes back to the Goddess Maat,
later Isis of ancient Egypt. The Hellenic diety, Themis was portrayed carrying scales. From
Roman times the image of a female goddess of Justice, Iustitia has frequently been depicted
carrying scales on her right hand, upon which she measures the strengths of a case’s support and
opposition. She is often depicted carrying a double-edged sword in her left hand, symbolizing the
power of reason and justice. She stands blindfolded, signifying objectivity, establishing justice
without fear or favour, regardless of identity, money, power or weakness. Prov. 16:11 “The Lord
demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.”
Shield: The shield represents courage in enforcing law and its resulting victory. “The Lord is my
strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” (Ps. 28:7)
The Tri-color (Tiranga): It reminds us of the Indian Flag adopted in its present form during a
meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on July 22, 1947. The saffron color represents courage
and sacrifice; white – truth, peace and purity; green – prosperity.
The Keys: The keys refer to the promise of Christ to Peter, “I will entrust to you the keys of the
kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever
you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:19). They are a symbol of the
power or “the office (munus) given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to
be transmitted to his successors, (who) is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ,
and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By the virtue of his office he possesses supreme,
full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise
freely” (CIC, can. 331; CCEO, can. 43). The gold key signifies that the power reaches to heaven
and the silver key that it extends to all the Christian faithful on earth.
The Dharma-Chakra (the Wheel of Truth) or the Rising Sun: The twenty four spokes of
Dharma Chakra, the wheel of the law of truth, are originally representation of all the 24 rishis
of Himalayas, mentioned in the Puranas, the first being Vishvamitra and the last, Yajnavalkya.
According to the Hindu Scriptures, they govern the Dharma or truth. Gautama Buddha, after
achieving nirvana (Enlightenment) at Gaya, in his first sermon promulgated the Dharmachakra.
The wheel denotes dynamism, peaceful change and the need to go forward in life. The 24 spokes
represents 24 hours of the day, reminding the constant pursuit of dharma in life. The saffron
wheel also represents the rising sun that dispels the interior darkness or ignorance of law.
The Cross of Christ: It means kenosis – the self-emptying (cf. Phil. 2:7-8) of the Second Person
of the Holy Trinity for the salvation of the humanity. On the cross of Christ we see the fullness of
love, and thorough the cross of Christ one attains true liberation, and `life in its fullness’ (Jn. 10:10). `He
himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed.’ (1 Pet. 2:23-25). `Having canceled the charge of our legal
demands, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them,
triumphing over them by the cross’ (Col. 2:13-15). By the cross of Christ, law ultimately is
transformed into love and liberty.
Design: Ranu Francis & Rajeev Francis
Concept: Fr. Alex Vadakumthala
Approved by the 24th General Body of CLSI
held on October 21, 2010 at Anugraha, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.