Kangaroo Courts


    In Context

    • In a Dalit hamlet in Krishnagiri, a ‘kangaroo court’ undermines individuals’ right to love

    More about the Kangaroo Courts

    • What is the kangaroo court?
      • Oxford Dictionary defines it as “an unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanour”.
      • In a less literal sense, it is used to refer to proceedings or activities where a judgement is made in a manner that is unfair, biased, and lacks legitimacy.
    • Issues:
      • The system does not work on the standards of law or justice. 
      • In Kangaroo Court, the procedure is only conducted as a formality.
      • Kangaroo Courts are known for working against the phrase ”innocent until proven guilty”
      • The court does not allow to appeal against its judgement.
    • When did the usage begin, and why ‘kangaroo’?
      • The origin of the phrase is not clearly known, but it is believed to have been used from the 19th Century onwards. Why the word ‘kangaroo’ is used is also not clear, but there are several theories.
      • It could be to evoke a sense that “justice progresses by leaps and bounds” in case of kangaroo court verdicts.
      • The Kangaroo Courts were common during the Stalin era in the Soviet Union, famous as the ”Moscow Trails” of the Soviet Great Purge.
    • Media as a Kangaroo Court:
      • Ill-informed, biased and agenda-driven debates in the media on issues pending in courts are affecting justice delivery.
      • Lack of accountability of media:
        • Print media still has a certain degree of accountability. 
        • Whereas, electronic media has zero accountability as to what it shows vanishes in thin air. 
        • Still worse is social media.