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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 ?
Co-defendant Matthew Wayne Barrett, 19, pleaded guilty last week to attempted aggravated murder and first-degree assault.
However, his co-defendant was found guilty of dealing and possessing cocaine based on prosecution evidence.
A third co-defendant, William Macker, has also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
Saddam and seven co-defendants deny roles in the mass murder of 148 Shia Muslims in Dujail.
A MAN who attacked his female co-defendant while in the dock at Coventry Crown Court has been sentenced to three months in prison.
However, Barrett reportedly stabbed Van Dell at least once during an hours-long series of attacks by five assailants, according to statements to police by co-defendant Michael Ari Peck.
The 19-year-old disagreed with his co-defendant and told prosecutors that all three had planned out the crime beforehand.
One of the alleged July 21 bombers told a prison officer that his co-defendant was the "brains behind the bombs", and was "trying to destroy parts of London", a court heard yesterday.
The fourth co-defendant to be sentenced, Phyllis Yvonne Perryman of Los Angeles, was ordered to serve six months of home confinement, Coker said.
According to statements made in this and earlier hearings, co-defendant Peter Maggio operated companies in Medford, Massachusetts under the names Earth Site & Utility Corporation and Earth Management & Equipment Co.
They also said signatures on other documents were those of co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim, the former head of the Mukhabarat intelligence agency.
Mr Newman argued that questions from the lawyer of another co-defendant - Peter Atkinson - would result in testimony prejudicial to his client.