- The definition of habeas corpus is a legal document that requires someone to be brought before a judge to determine if the person should be held in custody or released.
An example of habeas corpus is if you file a petition with the court because you want to be brought before a judge where reasons for your arrest and detention must be shown.
habeas corpus definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Middle English ; from Classical Latin (that) you have the body
habeas corpus definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One of a variety of writs that may be issued to bring a party before a court or judge, having as its function the release of the party from unlawful restraint.
- The right of a citizen to obtain such a writ.
Origin: Middle English, from Medieval Latin habeās corpus, produce the body (from the opening words of the writ) : Latin habeās, second person sing. present subjunctive of habēre, to have + Latin corpus, body.
habeas corpus - Cultural Definition
A legal term meaning that an accused person must be presented physically before the court with a statement demonstrating sufficient cause for arrest. Thus, no accuser may imprison someone indefinitely without bringing that person and the charges against him or her into a courtroom. In Latin, habeas corpus literally means “you shall have the body.”
habeas corpus - Legal Definition