in fairness

in (all) fairness (to one)

In justification of one or one's actions; in defense of one. I know his remarks are controversial, but, in all fairness to him, they're grounded in pretty concrete scientific evidence. In fairness, I did try to warn her about the implications of a deal like that, but I still should have done more to stop it from happening.
See also: fairness

in (all) ˈfairness (to somebody)

used to introduce a statement that defends somebody who has just been criticized, or that explains another statement that may seem unreasonable: In all fairness to him, he did try to stop her leaving.
See also: fairness
References in classic literature ?
Yet, in fairness, we must add that they are liars, not with intent to mislead, but merely with the tenderest purpose to console.
"In fairness, one of the things that the chairman and remuneration committee are doing, and have asked me to look at, is reviewing what the long-term plan and longterm incentives should be," he told the paper.
"In fairness the police have been remarkably positive with constant patrols.
However some want to twist this, I took the BBC to task because I not only believe in fairness but don't intend to be one of life's victims.
"But, in fairness, they showed that resilience they have shown since the start of the season and right away after the interval we set the tone, just seconds in, and continued to take the game to them.
He said: "Michael is a young lad and, in fairness to him, he was riding a middle-of-the-road horse on bad ground on a track that has one of the longest run-ins in the country.
Well, in fairness it has already started in some quarters, especially those where affection for Mick McCarthy continues to run high.
Gordon, CFA, is a managing director at Duff & Phelps, LLC, specializing in fairness and solvency opinions and valuations for corporate and estate planning.
* CAVEATS ARE RIFE IN fairness opinions, limiting the liability of those that prepare them, even when deals go spectacularly sour.
In fairness, with a movie version you can retain the play as written--or as much as might prove palatable to a modern mass audience.