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What Is Habeas Corpus? Discuss Its History Amendment And Examples

Referencing Styles : Harvard | Pages : 1

Habeas corpus is a petition that can be filed by a person in custody to the court regarding the circumstances of detainment. A petitioner can file a  writ petition in the form of habeas corpus if he finds that his rights has been violated or there will be factual error regarding the arrest or his detainment, such s wrong date of arrest, the wrong charges has been listed on the booking sheet, or the wrong birth date of the offender. Habeas corpus is also known as great writ. The Latin meaning of the term habeas corpus means to have a body.

The habeas corpus is  summons with the force of a court order, it is addressed to the custodian ands demands that a prisoner be bought before the court, and that the custodian presents proof of authority, allowing the court to determine whether the custodian has lawful authority to detain the prisoner. If the custodian acts beyond his or her authority, then in that case the prisoner must be released. Any prisoner acting on his or her behalf may file petition in the court, for a writ of habeas corpus. One reasons for the writ to be sought by a person other than the prisoner that the detainee might be held incommunicado. Most civil law jurisdiction provides a similar remedy for those who are unlawfully detained, but that is not habeas corpus.

Habeas corpus has certain limitation. However, a writ of right is not a writ of course. It is technically a procedural remedy, it is a guarantee against any detention that is forbidden by law, but it does not really protect the other rights, such as the entitlement of a fair trail. So is a imposition like an interment without trial is permitted by law, then habeas corpus may not be useful in such cases. In some countries writ are suspended under the pretext of war or any emergency.

The right of habeas corpus though applied as the most effective safeguard of the liberty of the subject.  The jurist albert Venn dicey wrote that the British habeas corpus act declare no principle and define no rights , but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles that guarantees individual liberty.

The writ of habeas corpus is considered as one of the common law, which was historically issued by the English courts in the name of the monarch in order to control the inferior courts and public authorities within the kingdom. The due process  for such petition is not simply civil or criminal because they incorporate the presumption of non authority. The official who is the respondent must prove his authority to do or not to do something. Failing this, the court must decide for the petitioner, who may be any person, not just an interested party. This differs fro m a motion in a civil process in which the petitioner must have the standing and bears the burden of proof.

The privilege of habeas corpus has been suspended or restricted several times during the English history most recently in the 18th and the 19th century. Although the statute has authorized interment without trial since that time for example during the world wars, the habeas corpus procedures in the modern days always remain technically available to such internees. However, as habeas corpus is the only possible device to examine the lawfulness of a prisoner’s detention so long as the detention is in accordance with an act of parliament, the petition of habeas corpus is unsuccessful.

Habeas corpus was initially a part of the judiciary act of 1789 bur it only allowed for the federal prisoners to file petitions ,and only if the raise question against the court. In 1867, the writ of habeas corpus was expanded by congress in  two ways , it allowed state held prisoners to file petition , and it  also allows both the federal and state detainee to file if  they felt that there detainment was illegal , rather than just if they were questioning the competence  of the court.

Through the years, several amendments were made in the rules of the habeas corpus. In 1915, it was expanded ands the terms were no longer restricted to violation of he due process in the court. Detainees and prisoners could file habeas corpus if they feel that they have been detained under false or fake cases; if there were mistakes with the arrest paper work, or the arresting officer arrest them because of evidences that were not related with the relevant case. Before 1963, state detainees were required to exhaust all of the resources available to them through the state, such as public defender and the appeal system, before they filed habeas corpus with the federal courts. in1963, this requirement was lifted, which allow as them to file with the federal courts. Another change came with the detainee treatment act of 2005 and the military commission acts of 2006, which states that detainees at the Guantanamo bay are not entitled to habeas corpus and they should go through the military proceedings.   


After hearing disturbances in the neighbors’ home, one may call a police and report to the disturbances, as the person peer out his window, he may found that the police may escort his neighbor. The police officer take the neighbor for questioning the neighbor answers the questions and admits that he has beaten his wife. The police then arrest the neighbor for domestic violence and held him for 30 days in the police custody.

While in jail the neighbor realizes that he  has been  detained improperly, because he was never read his Miranda rights, nor was he made aware that he did not have to answer the questions that the officers has asked him. The neighbor files a petition for a habeas corpus against the officer who detained him. The neighbor asks the federal court ton review the practices of the officers and the process that they used ton detain and arrest him. The provisions of the habeas corpus provide this power of asking the question to the federal court.



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