800-year-old law of Habeas Corpus used by Abu Qatada
HATE CLERIC USED 800-YEAR-OLD LAW IN COURT CHALLENGE
Wednesday August 1,2012
DATING back more than 800 years, habeas corpus is a writ demanding a prisoner be brought to court so the legality of their detention may be tested.
The expression is Latin meaning “You have the body”, the start of the writ that goes on to demand the person be produced and brought before a judge.
Its origins date from the intensifying intrigue around the royal court. The writ became a tool to prevent the arbitrary detention of the state’s opponents.
The principle was used as long ago as the Magna Carta in the 13th century but its modern version was created in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.