What does habeas corpus mean?

Definitions for habeas corpusˈheɪ bi əs ˈkɔr pəs

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word habeas corpus.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. habeas corpus, writ of habeas corpus(noun)

    a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge

  2. habeas corpus(noun)

    the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment


  1. habeas corpus(Noun)

    A writ to bring a person before a court or a judge, most frequently used to ensure that a person's imprisonment, detention, or commitment is legal.

  2. Origin: referring to the body of the person being detained (not the body of a victim, as in corpus delicti).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Habeas corpus

    a writ having for its object to bring a party before a court or judge; especially, one to inquire into the cause of a person's imprisonment or detention by another, with the view to protect the right to personal liberty; also, one to bring a prisoner into court to testify in a pending trial

  2. Origin: [L. you may have the body.]


  1. Habeas corpus

    A writ of habeas corpus is a writ that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court. The principle of habeas corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention—that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to the prisoner's aid. This right originated in the English legal system, and is now available in many nations. It has historically been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary state action. A writ of habeas corpus, also known as the "great writ", is a summons with the force of a court order; it is addressed to the custodian and demands that a prisoner be taken before the court, and that the custodian present proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether the custodian has lawful authority to detain the prisoner. If the custodian is acting beyond his authority, then the prisoner must be released. Any prisoner, or another person acting on his or her behalf, may petition the court, or a judge, for a writ of habeas corpus. One reason for the writ to be sought by a person other than the prisoner is that the detainee might be held incommunicado. Most civil law jurisdictions provide a similar remedy for those unlawfully detained, but this is not always called "habeas corpus". For example, in some Spanish-speaking nations, the equivalent remedy for unlawful imprisonment is the amparo de libertad.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Habeas Corpus

    an Act of Parliament passed in the reign of Charles II. to ensure the protection of one accused of a crime prior to conviction in an open court of justice.

Suggested Resources

  1. habeas corpus

    Song lyrics by habeas corpus -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by habeas corpus on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of habeas corpus in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of habeas corpus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Nonhuman Rights Project:

    For 200 years, New York courts have used (habeas corpus) to move an individual from a place of less freedom to more freedom.

  2. Leo Terrell:

    She has damaged her chances for future custodial rights, she disobeyed a court order to return the children. A writ of habeas corpus was filed by the ex-husband and granted by a New York Court ordering her to turn over the children to the paternal grandmother. Kelly received bad legal advice to defy the court order.

Images & Illustrations of habeas corpus

  1. habeas corpushabeas corpushabeas corpus

Translations for habeas corpus

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • استصدار مذكرة جلبArabic
  • बंदी प्रत्यक्षीकरणHindi
  • 人身保護令Chinese

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"habeas corpus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/habeas corpus>.

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