Skip to content
  • Video
  • 5 mins
  • Level 2: Intermediate

Habeas Corpus

Updated Tuesday 7th April 2015

Should anyone be held imprisoned without charge? Stephen Fry explains how, despite Habeas Corpus, this can still happen. 

Habeas Corpus, sometimes known as ‘The Great Writ’, names an important legal principle that protects individual freedom and ensures that no one is held without charge. Stephen Fry explains the principle and how sometimes it can be circumvented.

More on human rights and the law

 

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Buddhism's four Noble Truths Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The BBC video icon

History & The Arts 

Buddhism's four Noble Truths

This animation explores the Buddha's Four Noble Truths.

Video
5 mins
Is Utopia a pointless dream? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

History & The Arts 

Is Utopia a pointless dream?

Not short of a bob or two, Ian Hislop must know what it’s like to live in a perfect world. Or does he? Ever Wondered sent him to America with nothing but a copy of Thomas More’s Utopia to find if there is such a thing as a perfect world...

Article
The ethical philosopher Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: The Open University article icon

History & The Arts 

The ethical philosopher

Derek Matravers explains how a grounding in philosophy can only be a partial guide to ethical decisions.

Article
Love? What’s in it for me? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC video icon

History & The Arts 

Love? What’s in it for me?

This short animation, narrated by Aidan Turner, looks at how love is a selfish act that people only do so that they can feel good about themselves. 

Video
5 mins
Virtual murder: Just a game? Creative commons image Icon Casey Fleser under CC-BY-2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

Virtual murder: Just a game?

Can playing violent video games be perceived as a bad thing even if the game player does not show aggressive behaviour in reality?

Article
Organ transplants Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC audio icon

History & The Arts 

Organ transplants

I need money. He needs a kidney. It should be win-win. Is there a case for allowing paid organ transplants?

Audio
15 mins
Sport and genetic enhancement Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission audio icon

History & The Arts 

Sport and genetic enhancement

How far should athletes go in pursuit of the podium? Can you build yourself up while protecting your ethics?

Audio
15 mins
Kant's Axe Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC video icon

History & The Arts 

Kant's Axe

This animation explores Kant's thinking on lies. 

Video
5 mins
Key Questions in Philosophy with The Open University Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Magentis08 | Dreamstime.com video icon

History & The Arts 

Key Questions in Philosophy with The Open University

Our broad-ranging module 'Key Questions in Philosophy' investigates five different topics in philosophy: truth in fiction, the justice of war, reason and action, life and death, knowledge and reason.

Video
1 hr