Magna Carta

If you are not sure what this means, you are not alone. In 2012, David Letterman, on his Late Show, asked English Prime Minister David Cameron what the English was for the Magna Carta.  The PM correctly identified it was signed in 1215 at Runnymede and identified its significance in limiting the powers of the monarch.  But he was unable to recall it was Latin for ‘the Great Charter.’

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Great Charter by King John.  A key passage states: ‘no free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.’

Although 800 years have passed, the principles embodied continue to apply.  The expectation of proper and fair system of governance and the rule of law is now universal.  This worth celebrating.