colour of law

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Noun1.colour of law - a mere semblance of legal right; something done with the apparent authority of law but actually in contravention of law; "the plaintiff claimed that under color of law the officer had deprived him of his civil rights"
semblance, gloss, color, colour - an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading; "he hoped his claims would have a semblance of authenticity"; "he tried to give his falsehood the gloss of moral sanction"; "the situation soon took on a different color"
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
References in periodicals archive ?
Irvin, who denied the charges, was remanded in custody on charges of impersonating an officer, oppression under colour of law, and sexual assault and coercion, it was reported.
Henry used and Martin uses parliament and the courts to give a colour of law to their agenda.
29) Margaret Thornton, `Technocentrism in the Law School: Why the Gender and Colour of Law Remain the Same' (1998) 36 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 369, 370.