In June of this year, the Magna Carta will be travelling to Canada.
Considered a foundational document outlining fundamental rights, it was signed in June 1215 by King John of England.
The Magna Carta, along with its companion document from 1217 known as the Charter of the Forest, will be exhibited in Ottawa/Gatineau at the Canadian Museum of History from June 11 to July 26, 2015, before making stops in Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton.
“The idea that a legal document could set out the basic rights of citizens and limit the powers of a ruler was taken up again in England with the Bill of Rights in 1689. The Magna Carta was an influence on the drafting of the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and Constitution (1787) … Similarly, France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789) states: ‘No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law’.”
“Also, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ‘Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law’.”
“The legacy of the Magna Carta is also reflected in the ‘Legal Rights’ section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 7 guarantees the ‘right to life, liberty and security of the person.’ It adds that a person shall only be deprived of this right in accordance with ‘the principles of fundamental justice’.”
A major 10-week exhibit of the document finished earlier this month at the Law Library of Congress in Washington. It featured numerous lectures, articles and symposia.