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Kangaroo Court

Definition - What does Kangaroo Court mean?

A kangaroo court is one in which there is seemingly blatant disregard for the law and unfair practices regularly occur. These practices may result from judicial incompetence, undue influence or bias.

In any case, the resulting denial of justice is reflected by the improper denial of objections, wrongful convictions, harsh sentences and the like.

Justipedia explains Kangaroo Court

The term "kangaroo court" is one that is steeped in U.S. history. Specifically, it dates back to the early 1800s, when American adventurers began moving west.

During this time, judges that traveled between various outposts were largely responsible for doling out frontier justice. Because they earned a living by conducting as many trials – and securing as many convictions – as possible, hearings were often quick and rarely fair. Picturing these judges "hopping" between communities in their rush to satisfy their greed ultimately led to the term "kangaroo court."

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