Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to justice: target
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
A punishment or act of justice that is or appears to be much more severe than the offence warrants. Primarily heard in UK. Twenty years in jail for stealing a car? That sounds like Jersey justice to me.
A court justice whose rulings are dictated more by personal leanings than the law. I can't believe that judge! What is he, an activist justice—handing out rulings based on his own bent?
in the interest of justice
In order to be just or fair. You broke the law and, in the interest of justice, I must punish you accordingly.
justice delayed is justice denied
Justice served at a later time has as little impact as justice not being served at all. A: "We need to get this matter before a judge quickly." B: "Of course. Justice delayed is justice denied."
bring (one) to justice
To punish one for a crime committed. My lawyer is confident that we can bring the man who stole my money to justice. The court must bring this criminal to justice.
social justice warrior
A derisive term for someone who supports or upholds very liberal or progressive views on social issues. This phrase typically implies that such a person is overzealous or disingenuous. Often abbreviated SJW. These social justice warriors want to control every aspect of our lives! Betsy used to be pretty moderate in her political views, but she turned into a total social justice warrior in college.
do (someone or something) justice
To represent someone or something wholly or accurately. Often used in the negative to emphasize that someone or something is better than has been portrayed. You're a great singer. You just need to be in a band that does you and your voice justice. I think you two will love this house once we get inside—the pictures really don't do it justice.
do justice to (someone or something)
1. To describe or show someone or something accurately. Often used in the negative to emphasize that something is better than it appeared or was portrayed. I think you two will love this house once we get inside—the pictures really don't do justice to its mid-century modern charm.
2. To eat or drink in large quantities. I think you bought too much soda—there's no way the party guests will do justice to all of that.
3. To give something the amount of care and consideration it warrants. I don't have enough of a vocal range to do justice to that beautiful song.
Excessive punishment. I know a lot of citizens wouldn't mind administering some rough justice to those thugs, but that's not what we stand for.
A punishment or unfavorable outcome that is particularly appropriate or ironic. The CEO of the cigarette manufacturer, who has long denied the health risks associated with smoking, just died of lung cancer—now isn't that poetic justice?
pervert the course of justice
To obstruct law enforcement from successfully, adequately, or quickly discovering who is responsible for a crime and administering justice. After it was discovered that he had tampered with the evidence, the crooked cop was arrested and charged for perverting the course of justice.
miscarriage of justice
A wrong, unjust decision in a court of law. Newly discovered DNA evidence reveals that there had been a miscarriage of justice in the trial's original outcome 30 years before. Given the close political and financial ties between the defendants and various politicians, many believe their acquittal to be a miscarriage of justice.
bring someone to justice
Fig. to punish someone for a crime. The police officer swore she would not rest until she had brought the killer to justice. Years later, the rapist was found out and finally brought to justice.
do justice to something
1. . Fig. to do something well; to represent or portray something accurately. Sally did justice to our side in the contract negotiations. This photograph doesn't do justice to the beauty of the mountains.
2. Fig. to eat or drink a great deal. Bill always does justice to the turkey on Thanksgiving. The party didn't do justice to the roast pig. There were nearly ten pounds left over.
miscarriage of justice
a wrong or mistaken decision, especially one made in a court of law. Sentencing the old man on a charge of murder proved to be a miscarriage of justice. Punishing the student for cheating was a miscarriage of justice. He was innocent.
appropriate, ideal, or ironic punishment. It was poetic justice that Jane won the race after Mary tried to get her banned from the race. The car thieves tried to steal a car with no gas. That's poetic justice.
travesty of justice
a miscarriage of justice; an act of the legal system that is an insult to the system of justice. The jury's verdict was a travesty of justice. The lawyer complained that the judge's ruling was a travesty of justice.
do justice to
1. Treat fairly or adequately, with full appreciation, as in That review doesn't do the play justice. This expression was first recorded in John Dryden's preface to Troilus and Cressida (1679): "I cannot leave this subject before I do justice to that Divine Poet."
2. do oneself justice. Execute in accordance with one's abilities, as in She finally got a position in which she could do herself justice. [Second half of 1800s]
miscarriage of justice
An unfair decision, especially one in a court of law. For example, Many felt that his being expelled from the school was a miscarriage of justice. This expression, which uses miscarriage in the sense of "making a blunder," was first recorded in 1875.
An outcome in which virtue is rewarded and evil punished, often in an especially appropriate or ironic manner. For example, It was poetic justice for the known thief to go to jail for the one crime he didn't commit . [Early 1700s]
do justice to something/someone
1. If you do justice to something or someone, you describe or show them accurately, especially by showing their good qualities. It is impossible to do justice to the amazing flowers we saw. No report that I have heard does justice to the truth.
2. If you do justice to something or someone, you give it the attention and effort it deserves. Florence wasn't exactly doing justice to the food either, so there wasn't a lot of point in staying. I am not skilled enough to do justice to the music.
Poetic justice is when bad things happen to someone who deserves it. Perhaps his illness was some kind of poetic justice for having deceived so many for so long. Note: Occasionally people use poetic justice to describe something good that happens to someone who deserves it. If one can resolve several problems at once — ours as well as yours — it has a certain poetic justice.
do yourself justice
COMMON If you do yourself justice, you do something as well as you are capable of doing it. I don't think I can win, but I want to do myself justice. The selection panel was impressed but felt she did not do herself justice in the interview.
do someone or something justice (or do justice to someone or something)treat or represent someone or something with due fairness or appreciation.
do yourself justiceperform as well as you are able to.
poetic justicethe fact of experiencing a fitting or deserved retribution for your actions.
This phrase is from Alexander Pope's satire The Dunciad: ‘Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale’.
rough justice1 treatment, especially punishment, that is approximately fair. 2 treatment that is not at all fair or not in accordance with the law.
bring somebody to ˈjusticearrest somebody for a crime and put them on trial in a court of law: It is his job to bring the murderer to justice.
do justice to ˈsb/ˈsth,
ˌdo somebody/something ˈjusticesay or do something which shows that you know or recognize the true value of somebody/something; show the true value of something: They were not hungry and couldn’t do justice to her excellent cooking. ♢ This picture doesn’t do him justice; he’s much better-looking in real life.
ˌdo yourself ˈjusticedo something as well as you can in order to show other people how good you are: She’s a very good painter, but in her recent work she hasn’t done herself justice. ♢ He didn’t do himself justice in the match. He hadn’t trained hard enough.
perˌvert the course of ˈjustice(law) tell a lie or do something in order to prevent the police, etc. from finding out the truth about a crime: He was arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
poetic ˈjusticea punishment or reward that is deserved: If you ask me it’s poetic justice. He tried to get you fired, and now he’s lost his job himself.
rough ˈjusticepunishment or rewards given without enough care so that people feel they have been unfairly treated: The pensioners complained that they had received rough justice when their claim for an increase in benefits was rejected without discussion.
Truth, justice, and the American Wayand TJATAW
phr. & comp. abb. a phrase said in response to impassioned declarations about almost anything. (This phrase was used to introduce the Superman radio and television programs.) Sure, Mom and apple pie, as well as TJATAW.
do justice to
To treat adequately, fairly, or with full appreciation: The subject is so complex that I cannot do justice to it in a brief survey.