writ of habeas corpus

  

Definition

Writ used by the attorney of a detained person (detainee) to force the police to bring the detainee before a court so that the legality of his or her detention can be challenged. If the attorney can establish that the detention is prima facie illegal, the court may order the police to justify the detention. The detainee may be released on bail if the police fails to convince the court of the need for the continuation for his or her detention. The objective of this writ is to safeguard citizens against unjustified imprisonment. 'habeas corpus' is Latin for, you (should) have the body (person).

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