unity of personality

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Formerly, the common-law doctrine that husband and wife were one person in the eyes of the law. This doctrine has now been almost entirely abolished. However, the court still has jurisdiction to stay proceedings in tort brought by one spouse against another if there will be no substantial benefit from it; a husband and wife may not be convicted of criminal conspiracy together with each other (unless a third person is involved); and there are certain limitations on criminal proceedings in relation to theft of property belonging to one's spouse.

Subjects: Law.

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