Author Topic: The Magna Carta, June 1215  (Read 608 times)

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Offline dean_saor

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The Magna Carta, June 1215
« on: October 28, 2006, 07:49:35 AM »
The Magna Carta, June 1215

Abuses by King John caused a revolt by nobles who compelled him to execute this recognition of rights for both noblemen and ordinary Englishmen. It established the principle that no one, including the king or a lawmaker, is above the law. Or, as the  16th Century jurist Thomas Fuller said, `Be you ever so mighty, the Law is above you`; and as the famous Chief Justice of the King`s Bench at the time of the British Civil War in the 17th Century, Sir Edward Coke, commented, `Magna Charta is such a being that will admit of no sovereign`.

The key clauses are:

38. No bailiff for the future shall, upon his own unsupported complaint, put anyone to his "law", without credible witnesses brought for this purposes.
39. No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.
41. All merchants shall have safe and secure exit from England, and entry to England, with the right to tarry there and to move about as well by land as by water, for buying and selling by the ancient and right customs, quit from all evil tolls, except (in time of war) such merchants as are of the land at war with us. And if such are found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be detained, without injury to their bodies or goods, until information be received by us, or by our chief justiciar, how the merchants of our land found in the land at war with us are treated; and if our men are safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.
42. It shall be lawful in future for anyone (excepting always those imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the kingdom, and natives of any country at war with us, and merchants, who shall be treated as if above provided) to leave our kingdom and to return, safe and secure by land and water, except for a short period in time of war, on grounds of public policy- reserving always the allegiance due to us`¦

45. We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well`¦

51. As soon as peace is restored, we will banish from the kingdom all foreign born knights, crossbowmen, serjeants, and mercenary soldiers who have come with horses and arms to the kingdom's hurt.
52. If anyone has been dispossessed or removed by us, without the legal judgment of his peers, from his lands, castles, franchises, or from his right, we will immediately restore them to him; and if a dispute arise over this, then let it be decided by the five and twenty barons of whom mention is made below in the clause for securing the peace. Moreover, for all those possessions, from which anyone has, without the lawful judgment of his peers, been disseised or removed, by our father, King Henry, or by our brother, King Richard, and which we retain in our hand (or which as possessed by others, to whom we are bound to warrant them) we shall have respite until the usual term of crusaders; excepting those things about which a plea has been raised, or an inquest made by our order, before our taking of the cross; but as soon as we return from the expedition, we will immediately grant full justice therein`¦

http://www.constitution.org/eng/magnacar.htm

This was the basis of our Common Law, which all the governments of Australia, Canada, UK, and USA seem to be busy trashing. They need to be reminded of a much more violent and lawless time than the largely fantastic world of the War on Terra.
Cha do dhùin doras nach d'fhosgail doras eile;
No door shut but another door opened

Offline dean_saor

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Re: The Magna Carta, June 1215
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 08:25:08 AM »
Actually, I didn't mean to write Common Law but "civil liberties" as the "true basis of our Common Law" goes back to King Henry II in the late 1100s (say about 50 years before Kg John and Magna Carta) who, according to Professor John Makdisi (article in the North Carolina Law Review in 1999, "The Islamic Origins of the English Common Law"), imported it lock, stock, and barrel from the Islamic World in the shape of the Almoahid emirate of Al-Andalus.
Cha do dhùin doras nach d'fhosgail doras eile;
No door shut but another door opened