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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

LAW and ORDER, page 3

from:   'judge, jury and executioner   to:  'open and shut case'

  • judge, jury and executioner
    • Someone who is judge, jury and executioner  has full power to judge and punish others unilaterally.
      "OK. Report him to the authorities if you suspect him. You can't just appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner!"

  • justice is blind
    • This expression means that justice is impartial and objective. Everyone is equal before the law.
      "There's no way he'll get preferential treatment. Justice is blind."

  • law of the jungle
    • A situation in which people are prepared to use unscrupulous methods in order to succeed or survive is called the law of the jungle.
      "Some businesses today seem to be governed by the law of the jungle."

  • law unto themselves
    • If someone is a law unto themselves, they do things their own way and ignore what is generally considered as acceptable.
      "They're against discipline and allow their children complete freedom - they're a law unto themselves."

  • lay down the law
    • Someone who lays down the law tells people very forcefully and firmly what they must do.
      "The volunteers helped in a disorganised way. They needed someone to lay down the law."

  • letter of the law
    • If you keep to the letter of the law, you act according to what is actually written in the law, the exact words, rather than the intent of those who wrote the law.
      "To comply with the letter of the law, he was fined for allowing his son to take his toy tractor to the park. The sign said: “No vehicles permitted.”! "

  • licence to print money
    • An officially authorized activity which enables people to make a lot of money without much effort is called a licence to print money.
      "The contract to supply computers to schools was a licence to print money."

  • (the) long arm of the law
    • This expression refers to the extensive power of the authorities or the police.
      "The suspect got away but he won't escape the long arm of the law for long."

  • Murphy's law
    • Referring to Murphy's law expresses a sentiment of bad luck and the idea that if anything can go wrong, it will.
      "We've tried to prepare for every possible incident, but remember Murphy's law ...!"

  • not have a leg to stand on
    • To say that someone doesn't have a leg to stand on means that they can't prove what they say or do not have valid arguments to support their position.
      "Three people testified against him. He didn't have a leg to stand on."

  • null and void
    • Something which isnull and void has no legal force or is invalid.
      "The contract was declared null and void."

  • open-and-shut case
    • An open-and-shut case is one where the facts are so clear that the matter can be dealt with or solved easily.
      "He was caught driving the stolen car. It's an open-and-shut case."

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