- an unauthorized, irregular court, usually disregarding normal legal procedure, as one in a frontier region
- any tribunal in which judgment is rendered arbitrarily or unfairly
Origin of kangaroo courtsaid to be so named because its justice progresses by leaps and bounds
- A mock court, especially one hastily improvised or irregularly conducted.
- A court characterized by dishonesty or incompetence.
(plural kangaroo courts)
First attested 1853 in a Texas context, possibly from the notion of proceeding by leaps or because the kangaroo's appearance defies nature.
kangaroo court - Legal Definition
Pejorative. Of an unfair court, in which justice cannot be obtained.