Extrajudicial detention

Extrajudicial Detention

Extrajudicial detention

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Arbitrary or extrajudicial detention is the detention of individuals by a state, without ever laying formal charges against them.

Although it has a long history of legitimate use in wartime (see prisoner of war, Civilian Internee), detention without charge, sometimes in secret, has been one of the hallmarks of totalitarian states. Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

Writ of Habeas Corpus

In English speaking democracies, since the thirteenth century signing of the Magna Carta, captives were able to call upon the writ of habeas corpus — literally "you have the body." This legal procedure required the state to show that there was a meaningful, legal justification for their detention.

Detention without charge by democratic countries

In recent decades some democratic countries have introduced limited mechanisms whereby individuals can be detained without being charged or convicted of a crime. See, for example, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the Canadian Minister's Security Certificate.

See also


External links

  • BBC January 22, 2010
  • Human Rights First:
  • Human Rights First;......

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