We all must have read our National Dailies headlines stating: 

‘Kangaroo court punishes a woman for selling liquor in Odisha’ or  ‘Minor boy attempts suicide after torture by kangaroo court’ 

but has anyone ever wondered what exactly these Kangaroo courts are and how they work? 

In this article, we would discuss everything about The Kangaroo courts, how and when they were founded, how they work, and all other necessary information.

Source: richardwsymonds.wordpress.com


The Kangaroo court originated in the United States in the year 1849. The Kangaroo Courts were ordinary during the Stalin era in the Soviet Union, famous as the ”Moscow Trials” of the Soviet Great Purge. This concept was first mentioned in a book in 1853 in the United States.

What exactly is a Kangaroo Court?

According to the definition by the Oxford Dictionary, a Kangaroo court is “an unofficial court held by a group of people to try someone suspected of a crime or misdemeanour, especially without good evidence.” In simple words, we can say that It is an unofficial court formed by a group of people who do not have any evidentiary support or legitimacy to try any person and they give a predetermined notion that a person is guilty of something. Kangaroo Courts are courts that take decisions in a little biased and unfair way. These courts are informal in their conduct and generally do not take decisions that can be termed as Justice to the other person.

The best example of a Kangaroo Court is Media Trials. The problem arises when they have no evidentiary background, which is very important for natural justice. The people who are taking these decisions are not supposed to be taking them because they don’t have the qualification and the power to do so. 

Media impacts people a lot, and false and irrelevant statements would assuredly affect people’s mindset and thus affect the judicial proceedings. These courts are not good for democracy as the people may not be able to distinguish between what is real and fake. Kangaroo Court also leads to infringement of Article 21 which is the Right to privacy. It also goes against the principle of the ‘Rule of law’. 

These courts have drawn the attention of many toward itself, the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana criticises these courts by saying that these courts are “Incapable of Distinguishing between right and wrong”.  He also raised his concern over rising incidents of media kangaroo courts, Ill-informed and agenda-driven debates that are hurting Indian democracy.


To conclude, Article 19, which is also a fundamental right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, should be used in a legit way, i.e; it shouldn’t affect anyone’s right to Privacy.

Kangaroo courts are not good for our country as they do not provide natural justice and thus, these courts should not be given preference and one should be held guilty only if there is evidence against him. 

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