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1. The renunciation of a right of legal action against another. The fact that a release has been granted should be specifically pleaded as a defence if the person who granted it subsequently initiates court proceedings.
2. 2. Any document by which one person discharges another from any claim with respect to a particular matter.
3. The freeing of a person formerly detained, either upon *discharge when sentencing him or at the end of a prison sentence. The release of prisoners is also subject to *parole and *remission. In addition, the Secretary of State may, at his discretion (subject to prior approval of Parliament), order the release of a specified class of prisoners at any time up to six months earlier than they would normally be released. This power does not apply, however, in the case of prisoners serving a life sentence or convicted of specified excluded offences listed in the Criminal Justice Act 1982. The Secretary of State also has a special emergency power to release prisoners at any time up to one month before they would normally be released, without obtaining the prior consent of Parliament. When a person is serving an *extended sentence, the order for early release takes effect as an order for release on parole.

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