take the law into own hands
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take the law into one's own hands
Fig. to attempt to administer the law; to pass judgment on someone who has done something wrong. Citizens don't have the right to take the law into their own hands. The shopkeeper took the law into his own hands when he tried to arrest the thief.
take the law into (one's) own hands
To mete out justice as one sees fit without due recourse to law enforcement agencies or the courts.