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|This article contains information from the unofficial English translation patch for Gyakuten Kenji 2.|
Owing to the lack of an official translation of the Japan-only Gyakuten Kenji 2, the information and names in this article come from the unofficial English translation patch known as Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path. More information on this can be found here.
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Justine Courtney is a judge and member of the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee. She is tasked with observing the movements of prosecutors in order to determine who is unfit for the task, an activity the Committee calls the "Prosecutor Purge". Miles Edgeworth was one such prosecutor under evaluation; Courtney attempted several times to replace him with the incompetent Sebastian Debeste, son of former Chief Prosecutor and head of the Committee Blaise Debeste. Following the death of her cousin Amy Marsh, she adopted Amy's son John as her own child.
A cousin lost, a son adopted
- Main article: SS-5 Incident
Courtney had a cousin, Amy Marsh, with whom she was very close. As a Zheng Fa diplomat, Amy started a secretive relationship with Zheng Fa's president Di-Jun Huang, resulting in the birth of John Marsh. Amy eventually gave up her job as a diplomat and began working at the Happy Family Home orphanage. One night, Amy requested that Huang meet his then 1-year old son at the orphanage. However, the meeting never came to pass. Instead, the president was kidnapped, and a witness, Jack Cameron, was murdered. It was later revealed that the president was actually assassinated and that the president that returned was a body double who had been co-conspiring with the orphanage's owner and a corrupt chief prosecutor, though Amy, Courtney, and the rest of the world were left completely in the dark of this fact.
Cameron's girlfriend, defense attorney Jill Crane, sought revenge and suspected Chief Prosecutor Blaise Debeste, who was in charge of the murder investigation, of being involved in the incident. Cameron had been following Debeste's illegal activities (including fabricating evidence and selling evidence from past cases in black market auctions), and it was possible that he had been silenced. Courtney, who was a friend of Crane's, agreed to help her, and eventually both of them made it into the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee (P.I.C.), which Debeste chaired after leaving his post as Chief Prosecutor.
In 2014, Amy died, and Courtney adopted John as her own son. John became the source of her strength during her time at the P.I.C., trying to find anything she could use to expose Debeste's corruption.
- Main article: The Imprisoned Turnabout
In March 2019, the P.I.C. sent Courtney to a prison where inmate Horace Knightley had been murdered. Days earlier, prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, during an investigation, had entered the private plane of the president of Zheng Fa and ordered a search of president's staff. This had resulted in Knightley's arrest for murdering the bodyguard Ethan Rooke. Courtney told Edgeworth that the P.I.C. considered his actions an unacceptable overstepping of his authority, and intended to transfer his investigative authority over Knightley's murder case to Sebastian Debeste, son of Blaise Debeste. However, the P.I.C.'s true goal was to cover up the events surrounding Rooke's death and blame Knightley for an assassination attempt on the president.
Courtney's ideals of upholding the law clashed with Edgeworth's ideals of finding the truth regardless of what any law or authority said. Courtney repeatedly threatened to relieve Edgeworth of his prosecutor's badge, but Edgeworth continued to investigate under Knightley's intended defense attorney, Raymond Shields. Courtney argued that Simon Keyes, a friend of Knightley's, was the only person with the opportunity to murder him. However, Edgeworth eventually exposed Patricia Roland, the prison warden, as the real killer instead.
Conclusion of a cold case
- Main article: The Inherited Turnabout
Days later, Courtney and Sebastian were sent to investigate the attempted murder of Dane Gustavia, where they once again encountered Edgeworth and Shields. Courtney again tried to get rid of the two, but Edgeworth was a witness to the crime and continued to prove useful to the investigation. This matter was settled when the body of Isaac Dover / Pierre Hoquet, the victim of the IS-7 Incident (which had occurred 18 years prior), reappeared. This revealed a connection between the case at hand and the murder that had been the subject of the last trial of Gregory Edgeworth, Miles's father and Shields' mentor. It also revealed a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the body had never been found until then.
The P.I.C. began to meddle again and had Courtney try to indict Katherine Hall for both the IS-7 Incident and the attempted poisoning. In the end, she was only indicted for the latter, as she had done so to expose the true criminal of the IS-7 Incident. Gustavia was indicted for the crime that he had committed 18 years ago. Courtney warned Miles Edgeworth that the P.I.C. was planning on holding a hearing to try to get rid of him.
On the night of April 4, Courtney entered the P.I.C. meeting room to retrieve documents on the IS-7 Incident. She found that Blaise had manipulated the case, but she still needed a good opportunity to make this known. Later, she met with President Huang at the top of the Grand Tower. She brought him a bouquet of lion lilies, the flowers that he had given to Amy when they had first met, as proof that she knew about John. Suddenly, the president heard something and told Courtney to leave ahead of him, which she did.
Jill Crane's murder
- Main article: The Forgotten Turnabout
The next day, Crane was found dead, and Blaise tried to arrest Kay Faraday for her murder. This was the last straw for Edgeworth, and he relinquished his badge, saying that his title meant nothing to him if it would get in the way of finding the truth. Courtney played along with Blaise's indictment, but she began to realize that Edgeworth was dead serious about his convictions. Edgeworth was eventually arrested for aiding Faraday and continuing to investigate. Meanwhile, Courtney checked up on John, who was playing a lead role for the movie The Great Monster Moozilla vs Gourdy. John told her that he was at his hotel room.
Courtney visited Edgeworth at the detention center the next day and realized that he was essentially doing the same thing that she was doing: fighting the authority that sought to obfuscate the truth and deny justice. Edgeworth used his hearing later that day to launch an accusation on Blaise as the real killer and the conductor of a black market auction of police evidence. Courtney subtly helped Edgeworth by letting witnesses speak when Blaise tried to shut them down. She claimed that she was merely trying to destroy every possibility so that Edgeworth would never oppose the P.I.C. again. Eventually, however, she turned on Blaise and revealed her findings on the IS-7 Incident. This helped Edgeworth prove Blaise's guilt.
- Main article: The Grand Turnabout
Blaise was not done yet, however. He had his lackeys kidnap John to blackmail Courtney into acquitting Roland. Edgeworth learned of this and located John while Courtney stalled the trial. Sebastian prosecuted the trial and confronted his father after a connection was found between him and Roland. This led to the trial ending with Roland on the way to a conviction.
Immediately after the trial, Interpol agent Shi-Long Lang took Courtney and John to the film lot for John's movie, where Di-Jun Huang's deceased body had been found earlier that day. The president had never returned down the elevator, making Courtney a suspect. Despite this, Courtney refused to explain her reasons for meeting with the president. Nonetheless, a connection was made between the president's death and the SS-5 Incident.
In the course of re-investigating the SS-5 Incident, the relationship between Huang and John was revealed. It was also found that the president had really been killed by the assassin Sirhan Dogen during the SS-5 Incident, and replaced by a body double. This information led to the finding that Simon Keyes had killed the body double and orchestrated the murders of Knightley and Crane. Afterward, Dogen arrived to protect Keyes from another assassin, then offered John an opportunity to exact his revenge. John refused, saying that doing so would only satisfy him while hurting his mother. Courtney later gave Edgeworth his badge back after he decided on his own path of saving people by confronting the contradictions in the law. John later bought three lion lilies; two in memory of his birth parents, with the final one representing Courtney, his adoptive parent.
Courtney is remarkably well-spoken, polite, and calm, but also formidable and with a strong sense of justice. When challenged, she is a fierce and extremely calculating rival, able to adapt her theories easily to new evidence. She has an almost religious devotion to the law, often referring to the "Goddess of Law" and using many religious phrases. She is very protective of her son, and carries an assortment of photos from his acting career on her person.
Courtney believed that emotions were a weakness and not befitting a judge, who had to be impartial. She used her stoic persona as a shield to protect her. However, this persona fell away when it came to protecting John, which caused her to change her personality dramatically. She came to learn that emotions and personal bonds are not weaknesses, but sources of strength.
She always looked forward to seeing John's performance in movies he was in. She made a conscious effort to avoid learning anything about John's movies before seeing them herself.
- Hakari (秤) means "scale", which reflects her career as a judge. It is also similar in pronunciation to "hikari" (光), which means "light."
- "Mikagami" means "water mirror" - mirror being a symbol of god-like wisdom in Japanese mythology and the basis for the badges that judges wear in Japan.
- Her English name in the fan translation is "Justine Courtney", likely intended as a play on "justice" and "court", as well as "court of justice", all reflecting her position as a judge.
- Instead of "Objection!", Courtney uses "Overruled!" (却下!, "Kyakka!").
- Courtney is a remarkably polite person, using "watakushi", the most polite Japanese first-person pronoun, and mainly using the "-sama" particle to address others.
- To date, Courtney is the only female judge to appear in the Ace Attorney series, as well as one of only three judges to have a known name, with Mael Stronghart and Seishirou Jigoku from The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles being the only other examples to date.
- Courtney is the second judge in the series to hand down a "Guilty" verdict that isn't later overturned, following the modern-era judge.
- Courtney is the only named judge to date who did not turn out to be guilty of murder or conspiracy to commit.