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Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror - Research Paper Example

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Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror Name: Institution: Course: Tutor: Date: Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror Introduction Written in 1787, the Constitution of the United States particularly incorporated the writ of habeas corpus as a fundamental right of individuals and a legal foundation of the new country…
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Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror

Download file to see previous pages... The writ of habeas corpus demands that a prisoner be presented by whoever is holding him or her before the judge at the judge’s request. The writ of habeas corpus is an absolute protector of human rights threatened by wrongful detention and incarceration. As such, it was a strategy through which the founders of the nation promoted the separation of powers and maintenance of equilibrium between them. The writ of habeas corpus can be traced back to the English common law that checked on the excesses of the government against human rights. In the United States, the writ of habeas corpus has been questioned by various Presidents from Lincoln to Bush regime portraying elements of abuse of power. This paper explores the writ of habeas corpus in the context of war on terror and also explores if the move by the president is aimed at protecting the citizens or if it points to abuse of power because the president is the commander in chief. The Historical Evolution of Habeas Corpus English History of Habeas Corpus Habeas corpus has an ancient English history and seems to have predominantly originated from Anglo-Saxon common law (The Rutherford Institute, 2013). According to Shaw (2009), “Habeas corpus is an ancient remedy whose original purpose was to contest detention by the king” (Shaw, 2009, Para 7). ...
One of its curbs on the sovereign’s power reads, in part, ‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land’” (Shaw, 2009, Para 7). The law in question was “The Great Writ” from which habeas corpus descended. The enforcement of habeas corpus became predominant during the time of Magna Carta and formed an essential component of the unwritten common law, which were expressly accepted. The Act of habeas corpus in the English law was enacted by the Parliament in 1679 (Rudolph, 2013). The English courts were empowered by this historic Act. As a consequence of the Act, the courts could now issue Writs of Habeas Corpus irrespective of whether the courts were in session or not. Despite being riddled with high levels of hypocrisy in 17th century, Habeas Corpus Act established itself as a major empowerment tool for human liberty in countering excessive exercise of power by the state. The writ of habeas corpus was expanded during 19th century to include individuals held by exclusive private processes other than the state (Rudolph, 2013). American Development of Habeas Corpus By the time Revolutionary War was taking place in America, the Writ of Habeas Corpus was already established in all the colonies of Britain and was perceived as a fundamental legal protection of civil liberties of citizens. In Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States, it is stated that “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it” (Shaw, 2009, Para 7). Despite the fact that other common-law writs were recognized in the British Empire, only the writ of habeas corpus ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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