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a person against whom an action or claim is brought in a court of law



(respondent), one of the parties in a civil case being heard in court or one of the parties in an economic dispute being resolved by an arbitration tribunal. The defendant is brought into the case in connection with the plaintiffs claim that his rights have been violated.

In Soviet law defendants may be either citizens or enterprises, organizations, and institutions exercising the rights of a legal person (only legal persons may be defendants in an arbitration tribunal). The status of the defendant in court and his procedural rights and duties are stipulated in the Basic Principles of Civil Procedure of the USSR and the Union Republics and in the codes of civil procedure of the Union republics. The defendant’s rights and duties in an arbitration tribunal are given in the Rules for the Hearing of Economic Disputes by State Arbitration Tribunals.



a person accused of committing a crime, from the moment of arraignment until the sentence takes legal effect or acquittal is announced. In Soviet criminal procedure, the arraignment is conducted either by an administrative session of the court or by a judge in cases that reach the court through an indictment endorsed by the procurator after an investigation (either an inquiry or a preliminary investigation). In cases of private accusations, where the materials are submitted directly to the court, the person becomes a defendant from the moment that the people’s judge rules to initiate a criminal case; the ruling is simultaneously an arraignment.

As a participant in the court hearing the defendant (prisoner at the bar) has various rights to protect his legal interests, such as the right to defense (independently or with a lawyer’s aid), the right to challenge the composition of the court, the prosecutor, or an expert, and the right to petition the court to call new witnesses, to demand and bring in new evidence, and to ask questions of participants in the court hearing.

After a guilty verdict is delivered and goes into effect, the defendant becomes a convicted person.

References in periodicals archive ?
290) On appeal, Payne contended, inter alia, that codefendant Rich, who pleaded guilty, testified to "certain acts and conversations" of other codefendants when Payne was not present, causing prejudice that sufficiently justified his motion for a separate trial.
Each defendant denied guilt, blaming the other, and the codefendant Hight signed a confession admitting the murder of his own wife, denying the one for which he and Mrs.
Thus Albers followed Fisher in incorrectly defining Sweetin as a case decided on antagonistic defenses, but the court correctly recognized antagonistic defenses (as offered at trial) to constitute an entirely separate category from conflicting pretrial codefendant statements.
Where, however, reference to evidence against one defendant in the presence of the other defendant's jury would be impermissible (such as a defendant's statement incriminating the codefendant, or a defendant's witness incriminating the codefendant), the prosecution should give separate closing arguments to each jury.
123 (1968) (holding that a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation of witnesses is violated when a codefendant's confession is admitted at their joint trial, despite the jury being instructed that the confession is admissible only against the codefendant who made the confession).
The American Bar Association's Standards for Criminal Justice note that joint trials with multiple juries "may provide solutions not only to the specific problem of codefendant statements but also to some of the general problems of prejudice that occur in joint trials.
141) The mere fact that a confession requires the jury to make some type or degree of inference in order to link the codefendant to the confession, however, does not automatically place it beyond the scope of Bruton's protective rule by virtue of the holding in Richardson.
Fourth, the Court suggested that Bell's confession could have been redacted in part so that it made no particular reference to Gray; therefore, it would not have been obvious that the deletions referred to the codefendant in the courtroom, similar to the confession in Richardson.
149) It also accepted that in some situations, such as where there is more than one codefendant, it may not even be clear as to which codefendant a blank refers.
Miner (1977) (539) was a rare example of an Illinois case that involved some degree of actual antagonism beyond conflicting codefendant statements.
Although the court accepted that Ledbetter's actual testimony was antagonistic to Miner's defense, the court distinguished Braune, where "evidence was presented, prior to trial, indicating that each defendant would take the witness stand and testify to a set of facts which would be exculpatory of the witness and condemnatory of his codefendant.
Securities litigation reform is strongly supported by independent auditors, investment bankers and others often named as codefendants.