Kangaroo court


      • unfair trial
        Refers to a judicial proceeding that is not impartial and where the outcome is predetermined

      • mock trial
        Describes a situation where a group of people or an organization conducts a trial or disciplinary hearing that is biased or illegitimate

    Examples of Kangaroo court

    • The board of directors held a kangaroo court to quickly and unfairly judge the employee's misconduct rather than following the proper disciplinary procedures.

      A kangaroo court is an improper or unfair court or judicial proceeding, usually lacking in proper legal procedures or presided over by an unqualified or biased judge. In this example, the board of directors acted as a kangaroo court by hastily judging the employee's misconduct without adhering to the proper procedures for disciplinary actions.

    • The peer review process for this research paper turned into a kangaroo court when the senior researchers unfairly stacked the panel against the junior researcher's groundbreaking findings.

      In scientific research, peer reviews are conducted to assess the quality and feasibility of proposed research ideas. However, in this example, the senior researchers conducted a kangaroo court by heavily favoring their own opinions and discrediting the junior researcher's innovative findings, resulting in an unfair and improper peer review process.

    • The president's advisors held a kangaroo court in the Oval Office, forcing the cabinet members to unanimously agree to the president's destructive policy proposal.

      In this example, the president's advisors acted as judges in a kangaroo court by coercing and pressuring the cabinet members to approve the president's policy proposal, disregarding the legitimate and constitutional opposition, and thereby circumventing the proper decision-making processes.

    • The committee's decision to strip the athlete of his medal was a clear-cut case of a kangaroo court, as the evidence presented fell drastically short of the required threshold for such a severe sanction.

      In this example, the kangaroo court scenario refers to a committee's decision to disqualify an athlete and strip him of his hard-earned medal without sufficient evidence to support such a severe decision. The committee acted as a kangaroo court by deviating from the legally-determined due process and fairness standards, ultimately leading to an unjust outcome.

    • The small town's mayor presided over a kangaroo court to punish the accused without a proper trial or legal representation.

      In this example, "kangaroo court" is used as a metaphor to describe a mock or unfair trial. The word "kangaroo" is used to indicate an absence of the normal legal procedures, and "court" is used to refer to the gathering where the accused is tried or punished. In this case, the small town's mayor is conducting a makeshift trial without the usual legal protections for the accused, hence the use of the phrase "kangaroo court".

    • After being accused of stealing the company's trade secrets, the CEO was put on trial in a kangaroo court by the CEO's own board of directors.

      Here, "kangaroo court" refers to a non-judicial proceeding, which is conducted by a group that is not a legitimate legal institution. In this case, the board of directors, which is not a legal authority, is accusing the CEO of wrongdoing, and instead of referring the case to the appropriate legal authority, they are trying the CEO in a makeshift court.

    • The police officers created a kangaroo court in the precinct, and they were punishing their colleagues for minor offenses arbitrarily.

      This example illustrates how "kangaroo court" can be used to describe an instance where a group of people is trying to impose their will on others, bypassing established legal procedures. Here, the police officers are abusing their power and imposing arbitrary punishments on their colleagues.

    • The military tribunal that was convened to try the soldiers for mutiny was called a kangaroo court by the accused soldiers.

      In this example, "kangaroo court" is used to refer to a trial that is perceived as unfair or unjust. The accused soldiers were accusing the military tribunal of being invalid or absurd because they believed that the trial was not conducted in a fair or legal manner.


    The idiom "kangaroo court" is used to describe a situation where a trial or hearing is unfair, biased, or illegitimate. It can also refer to a mock trial that is conducted as a form of punishment or discipline without impartiality. This idiom is often used to criticize or discredit a legal or disciplinary process as lacking fairness and justice.

    Origin of "Kangaroo court"

    The origin of the idiom "kangaroo court" is believed to stem from the mid-19th century in the United States. The term "kangaroo" was used to describe something that was strange or eccentric, and "court" refers to a legal proceeding. The combination of the two words reflects the idea of a bizarre or irregular court system. The use of "kangaroo" in this context is thought to be influenced by the animal's hopping movements, which may have symbolized the unpredictable and erratic nature of such a court.

    Another theory suggests that the idiom originated in Australia during the Gold Rush era, where makeshift courts were set up to administer justice in remote areas. These courts were often seen as lacking proper legal procedures and fairness, leading to the association with kangaroos, which are native to Australia. Over time, the term "kangaroo court" has become widely used in English-speaking countries to criticize biased or unfair legal or disciplinary proceedings.