June 15, 1215 – King John of England signsÂ Magna Carta (the “Great Charter). England’sÂ subsequent record of implementation was long, inconsistent and complicated, but ultimately it protected the church against interference from the state, and guaranteed (for the barons) protection against arbitrary imprisonment and access to timely justice. The essence of Magna Carta is that governmental authority is given by consent of (and can be limited by) those governed. Magna Carta is widely credited with influencing British law as well as the US Constitution. The United Kingdom has planned a comprehensive itinerary of events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
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