June 15, 2008
Bad King John, good King Edward.
London-based Charon QC notes that today, June 15, is an important day for Brits and Yanks alike: the date of Magna Carta Libertatum. King John's negotiation with his rebellious Norman barons occurred in 1215; the Magna Carta established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes, without the consent of his council, a kind of rough first English parliament. It also bolstered the previously-existing idea of the writ of habeas corpus--the "let-me-out" claim against unlawful imprisonment--and afforded rights and procedures to both free and unfree men. An elected parliament replacing the king's council was first instituted in 1265, and it was "upgraded" by Edward I in 1295. This text of the 1297 statute, as amended, is official UK law. Edward I (for us Yanks, that's the same guy who had Mel Gibson killed) made sure that the 1215 agreement stuck with us.
Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at June 15, 2008 11:59 PM