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a person against whom an action or claim is brought in a court of law
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Often, the referencing of a criminal defendant's Fifth Amendment silence occurs at closing argument.
Television attack ads, which often vilify judges for casting votes in favor of criminal defendants, are associated with an increase in judicial hostility to criminal defendants in state supreme court appeals.
(11) For the overwhelming majority of criminal defendants, the Court of Appeals is the state court of first and last resort.
We hold that the decision to present witnesses is not a fundamental decision resting exclusively with a criminal defendant when he or she is represented by counsel.
Circuit has explicitly stated that "[a] criminal defendant clearly
North Carolina Ethics Opinion 129 (1993) opined that a plea offer conditioned on waiver of ineffective assistance of counsel may limit the criminal defendant's ability to seek a remedy for malpractice and, even if not, that any discipline against the prosecutor or criminal defense lawyer "may be hollow and ineffective remedies for the incarcerated Client C and insufficient to assure compliance with the rules." The opinion points out the personal conflict for the criminal defense lawyer in advising the client regarding the agreement.
(22) It is fair to assume that a criminal defendant's main objectives are to avoid liability for the crime or, if avoiding liability entirely is not possible, to secure the least onerous punishment possible.
But when Lane County Circuit Judge Mary Ann Bearden ordered Kidd transported to the mental hospital last week, the 56-year-old Springfield woman joined 104 other Oregon criminal defendants whose court cases can't proceed because they lack the lucidity to assist in their defense against the charges.
Additionally, decisions to exclude a criminal defendant's evidence should generally be made on a case-by-case basis rather than on a categorical basis.
Moreover, a criminal defendant is typically at the mercy of the prosecution's own policies as to whether to produce certain ESI evidence, as well as the manner and form of production.

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