The writ of habeas corpus originated in the early English writ system as the writ of habeas corpus ad respondum. Ironically, it was initially used to compel defendants to appear but evolved by the 15 th century into one of several writs that could be used to challenge imprisonment during the medieval era. The validity and scope of the writ were in dispute until the passage of the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, which finally extended it to most defendants being held in criminal cases. Although not the first act ...

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