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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 ?
Matheu and his co-defendants are linked to an East Los Angeles street gang that has branched into the Antelope Valley.
The woman told judges she was falsely accused of the charges after she refused to snitch on her co-defendant.
Co-defendant Michael Slattery Jr pleaded guilty in New York and last January was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
The dead were named as Fernando Ciampi, a judge who worked in the civil section of the bankruptcy court, Lorenzo Alberto Claris Appiani, a lawyer, and Giardiello's co-defendant, Giorgio Erba.
In total, Morsi is a co-defendant in four trials: inciting the killing of protesters during deadly clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012, insulting the judiciary, escaping from Wadi El-Natrun Prison during the opening days of the 25 January Revolution, and for espionage for working with foreign Islamist groups to create chaos in Egypt.
The axed X Factor judge and former N-Dubz singer, 25, said she was "looking forward to giving her account" after the hearing in London with rapper co-defendant Mike GLC.
Dmitrichenko has acknowledged he wanted Filin roughed up and had given co-defendant Yuri Zarutsky the go-ahead to hit him, but said he had not wanted acid to be used.
Jeff Whorton, a co-defendant in one of two federal cases involving bankrupt northwest Arkansas real estate developer Brandon Barber, pleaded guilty Aug.
Wolfe, in an April 21, 2011, article about Sanguedolce's co-defendant Peter Gibbs, wrote that Sanguedolce "testified against" Gibbs at his trial.
The KFC restaurant Co-defendant Ben Kennedy, 21, of Rhuddlan Road, Rhyl, admitted the conspiracy charge, but his father John Kennedy, 44, also of Rhuddlan Road, pleaded not guilty when they appeared at Mold Crown Court yesterday.
Kieron Lee Jones and his 17-year-old co-defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, did not start the fight but had become embroiled in the brawl, Merthyr Crown Court heard.
Co-defendant Ricardo Valenzuela is still at large, prosectors said.