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Plea in bar is a pleading introduced by the defendant in an action as a complete defense, designed to defeat the action for all time. A plea by an accused in a criminal case, asserting any matter in confession and avoidance not admissible under the plea of not guilty is a plea in bar.
In the common law plea in bar is a plea that set out special reasons for which a trial cannot go ahead. They are the plea of autrefois convict, the plea of autrefois acquit, and the plea of pardon.