KANGAROO COURT

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kangaroo court. 1. A self-appointed tribunal or mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disre-garded, perverted, or parodied. • Kangaroo courts may be assembled by various groups, such as prisoners in a jail (to settle disputes between inmates) and players on a baseball
team (to “punish” teammates who commit fielding errors).2. A court or tribunal characterized by unauthorized or irregular procedures, esp. so as to render a fair proceeding impossible. 3. A sham legal proceeding. • The term’s origin is uncertain, but it appears to be an Americanism. It has been traced to 1853 in the American West. “Kangaroo” might refer to the illogical leaps between “facts” and conclusions, or to the hapless defendant’s quick bounce from court to gallows. Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)