I'm not sure whether this is the right forum to post my question. In my job I frequently come across instances where the article in front of a common noun used for a person is omitted.
Example: Defendant denied his involvement.
as opposed to: The Defendant denied his involvement.
As it is used so often, and done in text of "trustworthy" sources, it obviously seems to be correct, but I wonder whether this phenomenon is a specialty of/limited to legal language and where it originates. Is this phenomenon limited to written language or also present in spoken English? I still find it very funny and always have the feeling that it is wrong... - how do native speakers perceive this omission? And are there any rules as to when the article may be omitted in this way? Usually, authors are not consistent in omitting the article, sometimes they use it, sometimes they don't.
I would be very thankful if somebody could scatter some light on this.