What Does Bring to Justice Mean?

Bring Someone to Justice Meaning

Definition: To serve someone his or her rightful punishment.

Bringing someone to justice usually entails bringing someone to trial, making a conviction, and then deciding what it is that he or she is due as a punishment.

People who want someone brought to justice usually feel that the person has committed a crime and escaped without punishment. Because people find this unfair, they seek to bring, or carry, the person to justice, or a fair response to his or her actions.

Origin of Bring Someone to Justice

bring them to justiceJustice is a mid-12th-century noun meaning the exercise of authority in vindication of right by assigning reward or punishment, and it comes from the Latin justitia meaning righteousness, equity.

Originally, people spoke of doing justice to someone, meaning to give them the punishment that was due to him or her.

By the 1790s, we can read in the Gazette of the United-States (1791),

  • … a further reward of Twenty Dollars will be given for the security of the perpetrator or perpetrators, so that they may be brought to justice.

and in Oct 1792,

  • It is necessary for the welfare of society, and for the effectual protection of its members in the peaceable enjoyment of their rights, that offenders should be brought to justice.

Examples of Bring Someone to Justice

bring justiceIn the modern day, people use this expression when wanting to punish someone for a crime of which he or she has yet to be convicted.

  • The parents would not rest until the kidnapper of their child was brought to justice.
  • He was finally brought to justice ten years after robbing the bank.
  • The murderer fled the country, and it is unlikely he will ever be brought to justice.

More Examples

  • The top cop said: “Our determination is to dismantle, disrupt, and bring to justice all organized criminal groupings.” –The Irish Sun
  • I think the only way he would be brought to justice now is if he admitted it. I think that’s the only way. –Poughkeepsie Journal


To bring someone to justice is to punish that person for a crime he or she committed.