habeas corpus

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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).


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habeas corpus (plural habeas corpora)

  1. (law) 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.

Related terms[edit]


  • habeas corpus at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • habeas corpus” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  • habeas corpus” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online