A kangaroo court is a court that ignores recognized standards of law or justice and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority which intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations. The defendants in such courts are often denied access to legal representation and, in some cases, proper defense and the right of appeal. Prejudicial bias of the decision-maker or from political decree are among the most publicized causes of kangaroo courts. Such proceedings are often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict was already decided before the trial actually began.