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Reference - Law » Criminal Law » Criminology

The Law of Habeas Corpus

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The Law of Habeas Corpus

Authors :

Simon Atrill



Publisher :

Oxford University Press U.K.

Imprint :

Oxford University Press

Cover Price :


Edition :

3 /e

CD Included :


Pages :


Binding :


Publication Year :



The Law of Habeas Corpus

Topic of great importance: liberty of the individual is a fundamental right and essential to the rule of law
Habeas corpus is the only remedy directly applicable to a human right
Complete and up-to-date statement of the law
Thorough exploration of the background and principles, together with practice and procedure
The book has been completely updated to reflect significant developments in the case law and the literature since the last edition in 1989
One new chapter will devote special attention to habeas corpus and fundamental rights, looking in particular at the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights and also the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Another new chapter will explore first principles and examine the evolution of judicial review and its relationship to habeas corpus

Habeas corpus is the principal means under the common law for the protection of personal liberty. By this ancient writ, the court assumes control over the body of a prisoner so it can discharge him or her to freedom if no proper legal cause can be shown for detention. Habeas corpus secures release from any form of unlawful custody, whether decreed by the highest powers of the state or imposed by the lowest slave-trader. Its reach is as diverse as the forms of confinement. Throughout its history, it has proved adept at adapting to new challenges. It extends beyond the prison wall and has been invoked to determine the proper parental custody of a child and to free patients wrongly detained for compulsory medical treatment, indentured workers, conscripted soldiers, as well as individuals wrongly held in the war on terrorism.

Looking first at the historical development of the writ, the book traces its growth in significance until its emergence as a cornerstone of the rule of law. Having established habeas corpus as a central constitutional principle, the volume goes on to examine the role and limits of the remedy today. It describes the modern workings of habeas corpus and assesses its contemporary scope and function. The authors explore the relationship between habeas corpus and fundamental rights. Critically surveying the nature of judicial review on habeas corpus, the book investigates past, present, and potential future uses of the writ, providing a comprehensive statement of current English law and a discussion of the position in other Commonwealth countries.

Readership: Practitioners, judges, academics and advanced students; also of interest to non-law academics and professionals working on human rights, politics, the police, prisons, probation and social work, and medical treatment - particularly of the mentally ill

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