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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
On or about March 21, 2016, the Campaign told The Washington Post that defendant PAPADOPOULOS was one of five named foreign policy advisors for the Campaign.
Plaintiff exited the restaurant, and defendant Bershadsky yelled from the doorway of the restaurant "why don't you say that to me you little fa--ot," and then quickly crossed the street.
The Court Expert later submitted his final supplementary report in 2011, in which he concluded that the First Defendant should be liable for some of the losses sustained by the Plaintiff since the First Defendant was responsible for the design of the sewage pipes and the supervision of the Project works in its capacity as the consultant and engineer with the requisite expertise.
The forum defendant rule pre-dates the original enactment of Section 1441(b) in 1948.
He said that the defendant had approached Mr Churchhill Ekedo, the Complainant, under the pretence of buying his Toyota Sienna car.
"During the investigation, the victim said he used to deal with the defendant and sometimes left his chequebook and his mobile phone in the defendant's office.
Diamond Estate Company Limited told the court that it received information on a criminal trial involving one of its directors having defrauded customers who paid various sums of money into the defendant's bank, and the said Director withdrew same without performing the obligations for which the named customers deposited the various sums.
The Prosecution presented witness testimonies, defendant confessions, technical evidences and referred the defendants to the High Criminal Court which deliberated the case during its sessions in the presence of defence attorneys who submitted their arguments.
"On cross-examination, defense counsel asked Dudis numerous questions about how he restrained the defendant, both inside the entrance vestibule and then outside on the sidewalk.
"I agree that it's troubling that the state did not make more of an effort to locate the defendant."
Court documents stated that the first defendant, an employee of a cleaning company, and the second defendant, a hotel worker, had connived with the fourth defendant, who helped them forge the documents and presented them to the bank employee at the personal loan department.