It's been brought up by people who know more than I do that Javert is called Inspector, yes, but at some point has almost every job related to the police, not just an inspector. So I agree that he's a symbol of the judicial system and the law, who happens to have a good, if dry, sense of humor (because people seem to forget he has it sometimes; felt it could use some attention.).
And since I've already gone off on him before but still need to look at him a bit more for writing purposes, have some somewhat coherant thoughts on Valjean:
I noticed, during today's part of the read-through especially*, that Hugo makes a point that Valjean is a man. A common, not so special, man. Granted that the read-through is still on his Parole stage and hasn't gotten to his transformation yet, but it's still clear later on that he isn't a saint. The Bishop, he could be a saint. But not Valjean. No matter how much he tries to change, and does change, he can't do it alone; and even if he becomes Madeleine or Leblanc or Fauchelvaunt or whatever, he is still Jean Valjean, the common man, under all of that.
Does he learn to love God? Yes, but only with the help of the Bishop. Even once he loves God, it takes a good while before he learns to really love another person, and only learns that because of Cosette. He still has to make decisions, he hides even with a false name and face. He's on the run, always.
Valjean has his soft spots, though. He's extremely strong physically, and emotionally too I'd say, but losing the cause, source, and recipient of his love breaks him. Slowly, yes, but it does. His hamartia is his love for Cosette; once he loses that, it's only a matter of time.
So yeah, people talk about him being the everyman of the story all of the time.I mean, with a name like Jean Valjean, he kind of has to be. The thing is, though, is that he is Everyman, but on steroids. His decisions tend to be for the Really Big Things, like letting a man be imprisoned versus leaving his workers to suffer. Even his strength is almost steroid-worthy; the man could probably push a cannon around the street with one hand and load it with the other if he wanted. Okay, a short cannon so that he can reach to put the ball in, but still. Solid metal. On rusty wheels. So I guess you could say that, while he is Everyman, he's also, in a weird way, Superman (I promise that made more sense in my head and didn't sound near as cracky), and while he is supposed to be average, he is really remarkable.
*If you're not in the read-through, please feel free to join. It needs more love too, just like Javert's humor.
"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."