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Haeas Corpus

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Submitted By anstey07
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Habeas Corpus, what does it mean? The literal meaning is Latin that translates as “you have the body “. A writ of Habeas Corpus means a “body” that is being held has the right to be brought before the court and have the charges be stated that they are being held for. In layman’s terms, you cannot be held for no reason; you have to be charged with something to be detained. We don’t live in a communist state where we can be picked up off the street and be jailed for an unlimited amount of time with no due process. A Habeas Corpus petition is used for many situations, from unlawful imprisonment to family law involving custody of children. (The ‘Lectric Law Library’ 1995-2012) In this paper I will discuss the history of Habeas Corpus and it’s use and if it is still pertinent in today’s world especially in view of the War on terror.
Habeas Corpus is a hold over by our forefathers from the English courts. In England a “writ of Habeas Corpus or “prerogative writs” were historically used by the courts in the name of the monarch to control inferior courts and public authorities within the kingdom.” ( Since most of our forefathers were from England and the framers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they incorporated a great many of England’s laws into our new set of laws. Habeas Corpus has been an important legal instrument in safeguarding an individual’s freedom against an arbitrary state action and these men felt it was of upmost importance to include it in our nation’s founding groundwork. Habeas Corpus is available in many nations today, though they can be named differently like in Spanish-speaking nations; it would be “amparo de libertad” or ‘protection of freedom’ ( The reason so many wanted this included was so that the idea of all men have equality under the law, had a way to keep from being

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