Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Habeas corpus
(961 words)

1. Concept and definition

The Latin phrase habeas corpus (“you may/should have the body,” meaning “to secure the body”) is understood in a narrow sense as the constitutional protection from illegal imprisonment as a fundamental judicial right. In a broader sense, habeas corpus has evolved into protection from arbitrary prosecution, incarceration, and punishment. Even more comprehensive definitions may be given: habeas corpus thus is occasionally described as the “great wr…

Cite this page
Demmer, Margarete and Klippel, Diethelm, “Habeas corpus”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020537>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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