Definition of take the law into one's own hands in US English:

take the law into one's own hands

phrase

  • Punish someone for an offense according to one's own ideas of justice, especially in an illegal or violent way.

    • ‘It would sanction excessive conduct which allowed headstrong, violent people to take the law into their own hands in a way which no civilized society could permit.’
    • ‘Far better if they fear that they will themselves be punished for their trouble, and instead take the law into their own hands.’
    • ‘They urged police to crack down on racist yobs before youths took the law into their own hands.’
    • ‘It is not up to the common person to take the law into their own hands and dish out what they deem to be justice.’
    • ‘If anyone, it was they who could have persuaded the justice-seekers to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands.’
    • ‘It seems that as part of this intifada, people on both sides are taking the law into their own hands and committing acts of violence against the other community.’
    • ‘A motorist plagued by yobs interfering with his parked car took the law into his own hands - with a broom handle.’
    • ‘Instead he was let down by the State and he did the one thing that was left for him to do - he took the law into his own hands.’
    • ‘Otherwise, people will take the law into their own hands to fight for justice.’
    • ‘There have been numerous cases of abuse and illegal detentions; people are not supposed to be taking the law into their own hands.’