1463 habeas Corpora a writ or process requiring a sheriff to provide people for a jury; also, 1465 habeas corpus writ requiring that a prisoner be brought before a judge or court (to determine if he is being held lawfully). It was affirmed by the Magna Carta (1215) but did not become an instrument of English law until the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

Ha"be*as corpus (?). [L. you may have the body.] Law

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.

Bouvier.

 

© Webster 1913.

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