habeas corpus

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habeas corpus

(hā`bēəs kôr`pəs) [Lat.,=you should have the body], writwrit,
in law, written order issued in the name of the sovereign or the state in connection with a judicial or an administrative proceeding. Usually the writ requires the person to whom the command is issued to report at a fixed time (the return day) with proof of compliance or a
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 directed by a judge to some person who is detaining another, commanding him to bring the body of the person in his custody at a specified time to a specified place for a specified purpose. The writ's sole function is to release an individual from unlawful imprisonment; through this use it has come to be regarded as the great writ of liberty. The writ tests only whether a prisoner has been accorded due process, not whether he is guilty. The most common present-day usage of the writ is to appealappeal,
in law, hearing by a superior court to consider correcting or reversing the judgment of an inferior court, because of errors allegedly committed by the inferior court.
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 state criminal convictions to the federal courts when the petitioner believes his constitutional rights were violated by state procedure. An individual incarcerated in a state prison is expected to exhaust all possible routes available before applying to a federal judge for habeas corpus.

The term is mentioned as early as the 14th cent. in England, and was formalized in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679. The privilege of the use of this writ as a safeguard against illegal imprisonment was highly regarded by the British colonists in America, and wrongful refusals to issue the writ were one of the grievances before the American Revolution. As a result, the Constitution of the United States provides that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (Article 1, Section 9). President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War, and his decision was upheld by Congress—despite protests by Chief Justice Roger Taney that such suspension was not within the powers of the president. The Supreme Court's liberal decisions in the 1950s and 1960s in the area of prisoners' rights encouraged many incarcerated persons to file writs challenging their convictions, but the Court under William Rehnquist limited multiple habeas corpus filings, particularly from prisoners on death row.


See P. D. Halliday, Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire (2010); J. J. Wert, Habeas Corpus in America (2011).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

habeas corpus

Law a writ ordering a person to be brought before a court or judge, esp so that the court may ascertain whether his detention is lawful
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
'Kapag may nakita talagang basehan pwede siyang mag-suspend ng writ of habeas corpus at pwede siya magdeklara ng Martial Law (If there is a real basis, he can suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and he can declare martial law),' he added.
The improvident extension of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus against remnants of terrorist groups is akin to killing a fly with a sledgehammer," he said.
"The Constitution provides that the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus shall be "for a period not exceeding sixty days", and any extension thereof may be granted by the Congress upon initiative of the President, in the "same manner" as the original proclamation sought to be extended," he said.
'We welcome the approval of both houses of Congress to extend the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao beginning January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2018,' Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement on Wednesday.
'In that case, hindi ako nag issue kaagad ng writ of habeas corpus. Nagbigay lang ako ng show-cause citation.
However, unless what is happening in Marawi can be considered invasion or rebellion, methinks the President may as yet, strictly speaking, neither declare martial law nor suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. This is without prejudice to the more or less reasonable presumption that, regarding the true state of the nation, the President knows more than what any other government official does, giving him the appropriate information
Daray granted the plea to withdraw the petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
'It's not true that the writ of habeas corpus is meaningless.
11, 1971), the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was subjected to judicial scrutiny.
A state prisoner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his due process rights were violated when a prison disciplinary committee revoked his good time credits.
In the petition, the minority bloc said the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus were unjustified and lacked sufficient factual basis.
Edcel Lagman said the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus were unjustified and lacked sufficient factual basis.