Friday, June 15, 2007

Magna Carta and your civil rights

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1215 King John of England met the barons of England at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames, and put his seal with them the Magna Carta (Latin for 'Great Charter'), one of the basic documents of democracy in the English-speaking world.

Magna Carta influenced many common law and other documents, such as the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is considered one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.

Magna Carta was originally written because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and his English barons about the rights of the king. Magna Carta required the king to renounce certain rights, respect certain legal procedures and accept that the will of the king could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects – whether free or unfree – most notably the right of habeas corpus, meaning that they had rights against unlawful imprisonment.

[Habeas corpus seems to have preceded Magna Carta. The ancient doctrine of civil rights came under relentless attack from conservative Western governments in the early years of the 21st Century under the pretext that citizens would be protected from terrorism by giving up their right to not be held in prison without charge – PW]

About four centuries later, Jurist Edward Coke interpreted Magna Carta to apply not only to the protection of nobles but to all subjects of the crown equally. He famously asserted: "Magna Carta is such a fellow, that he will have no sovereign." ...

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2 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

With Habeas Corpus falling into the dustbin. we are less safe. and democracy is more threatened.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of Speech and a Bill of Rights
http://www.aph.gov.au/LIBRARY/Pubs/RN/2001-02/02rn42.htm

9:34 AM  

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