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Kangaroo court

A kangaroo court is a pseudo legal proceeding, an unofficial tribunal that ignores standard legal practices. A kangaroo court is not convened to find justice, its purpose is to lend legitimacy to a proceeding prejudiced against the defendant. Interestingly, the term kangaroo court did not originate in Australia, it originated in the United States in the mid-1800s. The reason is less clear. Some think that the phrase kangaroo court refers to the fact that these frontier legal proceedings first dealt with claim jumpers in the California Gold Rush. Others think it refers to circuit judges who “hopped” from place to place, making their money through imposing fines on hapless defendants.


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Examples

A week after a 12-person British Columbia Supreme Court jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict as to whether Peter Beckett killed his Canadian wife in 2010, the former New Zealand politician is maintaining his innocence, calling the local justice system a “kangaroo court”. (The New Zealand Herald)

Even worse though is that they ruled in favour of P.G. and awarded him $12,000 in damages from Baton Rouge, which didn’t even acknowledge the kangaroo court proceedings let alone show up. (The Ottawa Sun)

“From day one, there has been no acceptance of responsibility,” she said, adding that Troy Westover has been heard in recorded jail calls referring to Laramie County District Court as a “kangaroo court” and implicating the city of Cheyenne, its police chief, the lead investigator of the case, the Attorney General’s Office and others in a grand conspiracy to “railroad” him. (The Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

“Here is a bloke who spent most of his time in opposition trying desperately to smear the reputation of our first female prime minister over allegations that were later rejected by his own carefully curated kangaroo court.” (The Guardian)

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