habeas corpus


habeas corpus

In common law, any of several writs issued to bring a party before a court. The most important such writ (habeas corpus ad subjiciendum) is used to correct violations of personal liberty by directing judicial inquiry into the legality of a detention. Common grounds for relief include a conviction based on illegally obtained evidence, a denial of effective assistance of counsel, or a conviction by a jury that was improperly selected or impaneled. The writ may be used in civil matters to challenge a person's custody of a child or the institutionalization of a person declared incompetent.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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