kangaroo court

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Kangaroo Court

[Slang of U.S. origin.] An unfair, biased, or hasty judicial proceeding that ends in a harsh punishment; an unauthorized trial conducted by individuals who have taken the law into their own hands, such as those put on by vigilantes or prison inmates; a proceeding and its leaders who are considered sham, corrupt, and without regard for the law.

The concept of kangaroo court dates to the early nineteenth century. Scholars trace its origin to the historical practice of itinerant judges on the U.S. frontier. These roving judges were paid on the basis of how many trials they conducted, and in some instances their salary depended on the fines from the defendants they convicted. The term kangaroo court comes from the image of these judges hopping from place to place, guided less by concern for justice than by the desire to wrap up as many trials as the day allowed.

The term is still in common usage by defendants, writers, and scholars critical of a court or a trial. The U.S. Supreme Court has also used it. In in re gault, 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1967), a case that established that children in juvenile court have the right to due process, the Court reasoned, "Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court." Associate Justice william o. douglas once wrote, "[W]here police take matters in their own hands, seize victims, beat and pound them until they confess, there cannot be the slightest doubt that the police have deprived the victim of a right under the Constitution. It is the right of the accused to be tried by a legally constituted court, not by a kangaroo court" (Williams v. United States, 341 U.S. 97, 71 S. Ct. 576, 95 L. Ed. 774 [1951]).

kangaroo court

n. 1) a mock court set up without legal basis, such as a fraternity, sports team or army squad might set up to punish minor violations of organizational decorum. 2) slang for a court of law in which the violations of procedure, precedents, and due process are so gross that fundamental justice is denied. It usually means that the judge is incompetent or obviously biased. (See: star chamber proceedings)

kangaroo court

a travesty of a court where there maybe some of the paraphernalia or procedure of a court but the essence of a court hearing is absent, i.e. a fair hearing. See NATURAL JUSTICE, FAIR HEARING, EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS.
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4) Generally, the people running kangaroo courts of this first type are unlikely to be offended by references to their tribunals as kangaroo courts.
While Justice Redmann was not nearly so proud of his kangaroo court as Hearing Officer West appears to have been, those two stand united as the only jurists I found who ever admitted to presiding over, or sitting on, kangaroo courts.
The infamous "Jan Adalat" or "people's court" -- as Maoists' kangaroo courts are known among the common villagers -- was held in a forested area of Gaya district of Bihar all through the Wednesday night to try the accused persons and serve them instant punishment but the local police did not get the wind of it.
The head Maoist outfit, Gopal, said that the Kangaroo court awarded punishment to the five youth.
On 18th August, 2008, Khartoum's Kangaroo courts sentenced eight men to death alleged to be part of JEM attack on the capital, May 10th 2008.
Kangaroo courts are functioning in Pakistan's vast ungoverned spaces where the state once nurtured its deniable jihadis, the editorial stated, adding that they are also raising their ugly heads in Punjab and Sindh because of the retreat of the state from its constitutional jurisdiction.
LIVID at the Supreme Court decision to award death penalty to five persons for an " honour killing", leaders of Haryana's notorious kangaroo courts said on Sunday they were poised to strike back.
One thing that I've learned is if there's ever any kangaroo courts set up in our dressing room, I'll be the one dishing out the punishments.
New Delhi, Oct 1 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday condemning the kangaroo courts and brutal executions being carried out by the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI- Maoist) said around 21 people have been killed in the first eight months of the year.
As long as prisoners are put before kangaroo courts, the suspicion will be that there is no real evidence against them.
Any society must stamp out these kangaroo courts and men taking the law into their own hands.
No justice is expected from the regime's Kangaroo Courts that are presided over by corrupt inept hirelings.