In several answers on this site, judging others as judge or jury is looked upon unfavourably, for both lay people and monks. It is often said that the one who passes a guilty or innocent verdict, would carry some karmic consequences.
However, the following quote from the Dhammapada seems to condone the act of judging others.
Is this the right interpretation of these Dhammapada verses or is there another interpretation?
Maybe it's just a metaphor? If so, a metaphor for what?
On the other hand, if this is the correct interpretation, then could these verses be used to endorse the participation of lay Buddhists as judge or jury?
Dhammapada 256-257 as translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
To pass judgment hurriedly
doesn't mean you're a judge.
The wise one, weighing both
the right judgment & wrong,
judges others impartially —
unhurriedly, in line with the Dhamma,
guarding the Dhamma,
guarded by Dhamma,
he's called a judge.
Dhammapada 256-257 as translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita:
Not by passing arbitrary judgments does a man become just; a wise man is he who investigates both right and wrong.
He who does not judge others arbitrarily, but passes judgment impartially according to the truth, that sagacious man is a guardian of law and is called just.