The saying “Justice delayed is justice denied” is a legal dictum signifying that when legal redress is available to a person who has suffered some kind of injury but does not get it in time it is as bad as not receiving any redress at all.
This theory remains the core of the right of a person for a quick trial in order to hasten the legal system, as it is unreasonable for him or her to have to suffer the injury, with hardly any hope for a solution. This famous phrase has turned out to be a uniting cry for all legal reformers as the governments or courts as acting too leisurely a manner, in resolving legal matters because the prevailing system has become overburdened or complex, or the concerned issue or person is lacking in political favor.
The right of the defendant to a speedy trial as well as the disposition of the case against him or her was intended to prevent the hardships of an individual, by suspending criminal prosecution over him or her for an indefinite period. Besides, it is also to avoid potential impediments in the administration of justice, by making it compulsory for the courts to continue with reasonable dispatch, while trying criminal cases. This right to a quick trial and disposition of any case becomes violated whenever the legal process is accompanied by capricious, oppressive and vexatious delays.
Lawyers often quote the saying “justice delayed is justice denied” to demand a quick disposition of all criminal cases. However, there is a negative repercussion to this maxim; some individuals emphasize speed rather than justice. Some use the saying to justify the speed of the trial against the principle of fairness.
Besides, there are people who associate speed with unnecessary haste, thereby offending the appropriate legal process rights of the defendants in cases. However, there is no escaping one fact: the word “speedy” should never be separated from the term justice, as speedy justice signifies that justice also ought to be disseminated efficiently.