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Britain celebrated 800th anniversary of Magna Carta

Jun 16, 2015 12:00 IST

Magna Carta: Charter of Liberties intended to put a check upon arbitrary powers of the King of England

The term Magna Carta was in news on 15 June 2015 as the Queen Elizabeth II of the UK inaugurated a ceremony to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

The ceremony took place at Runnymede near London where King John II sealed the original accord on 15 June 1215.

The most important principle that Magna Carta laid down was that Englishmen should be governed by definite laws and not by the whims or the will of a despotic ruler which had been the practice prior to the charter.

It promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons (feudal lords) from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown among others.

The Great Charter, as it is often called, was said to be the foundation stone of the rights and liberties of the English people that gradually paved way for principle of Rule of Law across the world.

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