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Habeas Corpus in United Kingdom

Definition of Habeas Corpus

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Habeas Corpus : A prerogative writ used to challenge the validity of a person’s detention, either in official custody (e.g. when held pending deportation or extradition) or in private hands. Deriving from the royal prerogative and therefore originally obtained by petitioning the sovereign, it is now issued by the Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, or, during vacation, by any High Court judge. If on an application for the writ the Court or judge is satisfied that the detention is prima facie unlawful, the custodian is ordered to appear and justify it, failing which release is ordered.

Definition of Habeas Corpus

A latin phrase meaning ‘produce the body’.

History of Habeas corpus

The following concept of Habeas corpus may be usefull here:A writ ordering that a detained person be brought before a court or judge, at a specified time and place, in order to determine whether such detention is lawful. The right of any citizen to obtain the issue of such a writ is regarded as one of the most fundamental civil liberties. In England, writs beginning with the instruction ‘Habeas corpus’ (Latin for ‘Have the body…’, meaning ‘You are to produce the person detained’) were first issued in the 13th century. The law relating to them was formalised by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.

Habeas corpus in Legal Latin

Meaning of the latin term “Habeas corpus” from the University of Kent: You shall have the body (in court)’ – A prerogative writ1 used to challenge the validity of a person’s

detention, either in official custody (e.g. when held pending deportation or extradition) or in private hands.

Deriving from the royal prerogative2 and therefore originally obtained by petitioning the sovereign, it is now

issued by the Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division, or, during vacation, by any High Court judge. If

on an application for the writ the Court or judge is satisfied that the detention is prima facie unlawful, custodian is ordered to appear and justify it, failing which release is ordered.

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See Also

  • Legal Latin Maxims
  • Legal Latin Quotes
  • Legal Latin Dictionary


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(2017, 04). Habeas Corpus lawi.org.uk Retrieved 05, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/habeas-corpus/

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"Habeas Corpus" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 04 2017. Web. 05 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/habeas-corpus/>

"Habeas Corpus" lawi.org.uk. 04, 2017. Accesed 05 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/habeas-corpus/

Agostino Von Hassell, 'Habeas Corpus' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/habeas-corpus/> accesed 2021 May 15

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Habeas Corpus
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Habeas Corpus In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Habeas Corpus : A [...]

This entry was last updated: April 13, 2017

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