justice delayed is justice denied

The idea of a link between delay and denial of justice is an old one (Cf. 1215 MAGNA CARTA To no man will we sell, or deny, or delay right or justice), but this formulation appears to be modern and mainly US.

1999 Daily Nation (Nairobi) 9 Dec. 6/1 As they say, justice delayed is justice denied, an expression that obtains especially in situations where a person may languish in remand prison for three years only to be found innocent of any charge.

2000 Washington Times 31 Dec. B4 Apparently, Mr. Jackson got no satisfaction from his call to Mr. Bush. A few days later, in Los Angeles, Mr. Jackson pronounced Mr. Bush’s presidency ‘a coup d’etat,’ noting ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’

2001 Washington Times 13 Dec. B1 The inscription on the front of the Alexandria Courthouse, next to the depiction of the tortoise and the hare, reads simply. ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.’ That’s the motto at the ‘rocket docket,’ the federal court known for speed, spies and a winning record for government prosecutors.


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