Essay on Habeas Corpus

2445 Words Dec 9th, 2012 10 Pages
Habeas Corpus
And it’s Impact on Civil Liberties and Terrorism.

Alson Watson
Professor: Scot Wilson
Politics 201
November 4, 2012

In times of national crisis civil liberties are sometimes abridged in exchange for greater security. The Framers, countenancing such an eventuality, granted to Congress the power to suspend the right to a writ of habeas corpus in times of rebellion or invasion. The war on terror has created many a rift in political, judicial and civil rights circles thus creating unique circumstances in regard to dealing with individuals detained due to acts of terrorism. The Habeas Corpus Act ensures that due process is given to those who believe they are innocent of charges set upon them. However
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But to get even further we must examine its origins. As stated, this legality originated in England and was adopted by many other countries including (but not limited to) the United States. The term Habeas Corpus is derived from Latin which means, “You may have the body” ( This was a measure by which kings of England used to force people to testify in court. This was solidified later on by the Habeas Corpus act of 1679 in which King Charles II passed this through parliament. This procedural device was passed “to remedy a condition of indifference or disregard of the rights of the people which had through royal influence and other causes reached the point where the common law writ became so little respected that it no longer afforded real or substantial benefits to English subjects.” ( Habeas Corpus in American History
In October 11, 2004, Yaser Hamdi arrived home in Saudi Arabia after being held incommunicado in U.S. Navy brigs for nearly three years. Without a hearing and without formal charges ever having been filed against him, Hamdi was detained as an “enemy combatant”

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