Saturday, 14 April 2012

M is for Magna Carta 1215

The picture may not be clear, and you won't be able to read it (unless you have uber eyesight and can understand Latin), however this is an example of England's Magna Carta. There are only four originals left, and one happens to be in Lincoln Castle (where I have bought this nice fake one and took a picture of it from my wall).

Most of the following info will be taken from my Constitutional law book: (Hilaire Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law (8th edn, Routledge 2011)

The Magna Carta of 1215 represented a formal settlement between the Crown and the Barons. It is considered an important part of the UK's unwritten constitution. Although it is not particularly significant legally today, it symbolised the limitation of monarchical power and the protection of liberties.

The most relevant part more connected to today's legal system is clause 39, where the king promised "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."

It must be noted that as the document was created by the barons, for the barons, to protect their rights and property, they did not have the rights or well-being of the commoners in mind.

Hope this was mildly interesting! Wrote it before bed, and I'm a tad tired, so hope its all up to scratch :)