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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.

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Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzb├╝hel Desk) at June 15, 2008 11:59 PM

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