- 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.
Origin of habeas corpusMiddle English ; from Classical Latin (that) you have the body
- A writ that a person may seek from a court to obtain immediate release from an unlawful confinement, as when the confinement has occurred through a means that violated the person's constitutional rights.
- The right of a person to obtain such a writ.
Origin of habeas corpusMiddle 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.
(plural habeas corpora)
- corpus delicti
Latin habeas corpus ad subjiciendum (“You (shall) have the body to be subjected to (examination)”), referring to the body of the person being detained (not the body of a victim, as in corpus delicti).
habeas corpus - Legal Definition