dispense justice


Senior Member
Source: http://news.google.com/news?num=100&hl=en&lr=&safe=on&sa=N&tab=wn&q="dispense"

They need not dispense justice in fear; the doors of hell are open to Judges who deliver verdicts based on what they can get out of it; similarly those gates are closed to Judges who sentence justly.

1. Does dispense justice means to render justice as in the above sentence?
2. Isn't need to add to the sentence
They need to dispense justice ........

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  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Judges, in the vernacular, "hand out" decisions, and "dispense" is used here in that sense; judges (no capital letter required) do this in deciding sentences and (in non-jury cases) verdicts. To dispense justice is to render decisions in a just (fair and legal) manner.

    No, "to" should not be added. "They need to dispense justice in fear" would mean that judges who render just decisions need to be afraid. But the writer is saying exactly the opposite: judges who decide justly need not be afraid, since they will definitely not be sent to hell.


    Senior Member
    England English
    In the context of your sentence, 'to dispense justice' merely means to act as a judge, to adjudicate. The 'justice' (sentences) actually dispensed/delivered may be just or unjust. I do not understand your point (2). Could you write it in as part of the whole sentence, or better still, reword it?
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