Learn about the principal of Habeas Corpus with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series. Habeas corpus is a Latin phrase which means “have the body”. It is a legal writ, or order, that a court may make, requiring a prisoner to be brought before it so that the lawfulness of their detention may be determined. The fundamental principle behind the writ is that no-one should be detained without cause.
The origins of the writ are in English Common Law, and its use has been traced back to at least the early 1300s. Habeas Corpus was adopted into the constitutions of many of the countries that incorporated English law, including the United States and Canada. As such it is often thought of as a constitutional guarantee against arbitrary detention.
Similar rights or avenues of appeal by prisoners are available in some civil law jurisdictions, including France and Japan. Habeas Corpus also forms the basis of the guarantee against arbitrary detention contained in international human rights law.
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