kangaroo court

noun
1.
a self-appointed or mob-operated tribunal that disregards or parodies existing principles of law or human rights, especially one in a frontier area or among criminals in prison.
2.
any crudely or irregularly operated court, especially one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible.

Origin:
1850–55, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
kangaroo court
 
n
an irregular court, esp one set up by prisoners in a jail or by strikers to judge strikebreakers

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

kangaroo court definition


A court that ignores principles of justice; a court characterized by incompetence and dishonesty.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

kangaroo court

A self-appointed tribunal that violates established legal procedure; also, a dishonest or incompetent court of law. For example, The rebels set up a kangaroo court and condemned the prisoners to summary execution, or That judge runs a kangaroo courthe tells rape victims they should have been more careful. This expression is thought to liken the jumping ability of kangaroos to a court that jumps to conclusions on an invalid basis. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Managers feel that this is a kangaroo court and the process in general is unfair.
When threat investigation enters the realm of discipline its procedure appears to be a kangaroo court.
Something went wrong they would hold kangaroo court.
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