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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 ?
There was some speculation that the Ruth case was settled because the court was about to issue an order sanctioning the defendants for discovery abuses, although it was not clear what sanction the court intended to impose.
Officers who intentionally withhold information that affects their credibility deprive defendants of their constitutional right to due process.
Sell will be spared the drugs for now, and a stringent new legal test will have to be applied for all future attempts to drug nonviolent defendants for trial.
Judge Rakoff further stated that: "[A]ny doubt about the defendants' [the Uzans'] hypocrisy and contumacious intent was laid to rest when the Court suggested that, in place of the transfer of Telsim stock, defendants simply post a bond in this Court .
Under the new rules, any medical malpractice lawsuit against a health care provider must be filed in the county where the cause of action occurred, regardless of the number of defendants or other claims asserted.
A defendant challenged the use of an electric "stun belt" on him during his trial; his motion was denied by the district court.
Wisconsin is the only state that charges poor defendants for representation no matter what the outcome of their cases.
Molestation is a notoriously difficult crime to prove, and most cases come down to whom the jury trusts more, the child (or the child's parents) or the defendant.
Ohio also allows defendants to reduce their share of liability by assigning liability to companies not party to the lawsuit, including those that have since declared bankruptcy.