Habeas corpus is a legal term derived from Latin, meaning “you shall have the body.” It refers to a legal action through which an individual can seek relief from unlawful detention or imprisonment. The writ of habeas corpus is a fundamental legal principle that protects against arbitrary detention by ensuring that a person has the right to challenge the legality of their imprisonment before a court.
The legal definition of habeas corpus typically involves a court order demanding that a person who is holding another person in custody present the detained individual before the court to determine whether the detention is lawful. If the court finds that the detention lacks legal justification, it may order the release of the detained individual.
Habeas corpus is a crucial safeguard of individual liberty and serves as a check against government abuse of power. It is enshrined in many legal systems around the world as a fundamental human right.