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Magna Carta is one of the most fundamental documents in English Law. Its sealing in 1215 helped to protect the individual from arbitrary imprisonment and abuse from the authorities. It also helped establish and enshrine property rights into the English legal tradition and, furthermore, it went a long way to influence the legal traditions and practices of many other nations. However, while countries across the world still follow the traditions of Magna Carta, it has increasingly been discarded by the authorities and misunderstand by the people within the United Kingdom.
With this in mind, The Freedom Association is involved in a number of projects that seek to increase the awareness and debate the relevance of Magna Carta today. This includes promoting Magna Carta in the 21st Century: Modern Britain and The Erosion of Freedom, a book produced by The Hampden Trust that is designed to highlight to school children how the traditions of Magna Carta are being usurped by legal traditions from elsewhere in the world.
The Freedom Association is also organising a number of events around England in order to debate the relevance of the Great Charter. These events are kindly sponsored by The Hampden Trust and The Federalist Society for Public Policy and Law, a US based organisation that seeks to advance the principles of freedom, separation of governmental powers, and judicial review. More information about upcoming events will appear on The Hampden Trust website shortly. In the meantime, you can see photos from previous events on The Freedom Association’s Flickr page.
The forthcoming 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 2015 presents an ideal opportunity to achieve a heightened understanding of the document and its relevance to freedom and liberty today. To promote this point of view, The Freedom Association contributed to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s call for evidence regarding a ‘new Magna Carta’, written blogs and opinion pieces advocating such a renewal and a British Bill of Rights based on English legal principles laid out in Magna Carta.