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"Justice delayed is justice denied" is a legal maxim meaning that if legal redress is available for a party that has suffered some injury, but is not forthcoming in a timely fashion, it is effectively the same as having no redress at all.
This principle is the basis for the right to a speedy trial and similar rights which are meant to expedite the legal system, because it is unfair for the injured party to have to sustain the injury with little hope for resolution.
The phrase has become a rallying cry for legal reformers who viewcourts or governments as acting too slowly in resolving legal issues either because the existing system is too complex or overburdened, or because the issue or party in question lacks political favour.
There are conflicting accounts of who first noted the phrase. According to Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations, it is attributable to William Ewart Gladstone, but such attribution was not verifiable. Alternatively, it may be attributed to William Penn in the form "to delay Justice is Injustice".
Mentions of justice delayed and denied are found in the Pirkei Avot 5:7, a section of the Mishnah (1st century BCE – 2nd century CE): "Our Rabbis taught: ...The sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied...", and the Magna Carta of 1215, clause 40 of which reads, "To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice."