Habeas Corpus Act


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Related to Habeas Corpus Act: Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, Bill of Rights 1689

Habeas Corpus Act

The Habeas Corpus Act was an English statute enacted in 1679 during the reign of King Charles II. It was subsequently amended and supple-mented by enactments of Parliament that permitted, in certain cases, a person to challenge the legality of his or her imprisonment before a court that ordered the person to appear before it at a designated time so that it could render its decision. The Habeas Corpus Act served as the precursor of Habeas Corpus provisions found in U.S. federal and state constitutions and statutes that safeguard the guarantee of personal liberty.

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138) Congress first addressed this evil through the Habeas Corpus Act of 1867, which enabled federal post-conviction review of state prisoners.
Jeremy Bentham made a similar point with regard to the English experience: "As for the habeas corpus act, better the statute book were rid of it.
As Lord Mansfield recognized, the English courts limited their habeas jurisdiction to sovereign territory, and they did so in compliance with the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.
The political goad for the Habeas Corpus Act can perhaps be assigned to the high-handedness of King Charles II's henchman, Lord Clarendon, who had been impeached in 1667 for (among other charges) having "advised and procured divers of his majesty's subjects to be imprisoned against law in remote islands, garrisons, and other places, thereby to prevent them from the benefit of the law [of habeas corpus], and to produce precedents for the imprisoning of any other of his majesty's subjects in like manner.
Two years after the end of the Civil War, Congress made a significant change to the writ of habeas corpus through the Habeas Corpus Act of 1867.
To prevent the Crown imprisoning people at will, it was finally made statute law by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, although it has been suspended several times, usually in wartime.
It was used by English courts long before Parliament gave it statutory form in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.