Writ Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Writ, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Writ?

(n) A writ is the written order issued by a judge usually before the proclamation of judgment or ruling , directing a person or entity to perform certain act or abstain from doing certain acts till such pendency of the writ.

History and Meaning of Writ

The term "writ" has its origins in English law, dating back to the Middle Ages. It refers to a written order issued by a judge directing a person or entity to perform a particular action or to refrain from doing so. Writs were an important part of the common law system, serving as a means of enforcing legal rights and providing a method for individuals to seek relief from perceived wrongs.

In modern legal practice, writs are still used in some jurisdictions to initiate legal proceedings or to compel a particular action from an individual or organization. The form and content of writs have evolved over time, but they remain an important tool for maintaining the rule of law and protecting individual rights.

Examples of Writ

  1. A writ of habeas corpus, which is used to challenge the legality of a person's detention or imprisonment.
  2. A writ of mandamus, which is used to compel a government official to perform a particular duty or to correct an abuse of power.
  3. A writ of certiorari, which is used to request that an appellate court review a lower court's decision.

Legal Terms Similar to Writ

  1. Subpoena - A written order requiring someone to appear in court or to provide evidence in a legal proceeding.
  2. Order - A written directive issued by a judge requiring a party to take or refrain from taking a particular action.
  3. Injunction - A court order requiring a party to stop doing something or to take a specific action.