Magna Carta- A Reminder to the Minister of Justice

Lord Denning, most celebrated of all twentieth-century jurists, declared: “Magna Carta is the greatest constitutional document of all times. The foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”

Article 29 is the most important clause of this treasured document, for it is the basis of due process as we understand it today:

No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be dispossessed of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.


The few copies of the document that survive from the thirteenth century are mostly housed in our cathedrals, tended like the relics that were removed at the Reformation. One is on display in the Australian Parliament in Canberra. Another hangs next to the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Here, in short, is the Anglosphere’s unifying text.

What a shame that Judith Collins, NZ’s Minister of Justice is so disrespectful of this historic document that she would hasten to introduce so many laws that defy our traditional right to due process. Generally she is a reasonably good politician compared to most, and I hope it is just oversight, and if she takes the time to visit the page where most of the above text is sourced from, she might think again next time she feels the need to draft legislation that imposes penalties upon citizens before they have been tried and convicted.

Daniel Hannan- Celebrate Magna Carta with me.



Categories: NZ Politics, UK Politics

Tags: ,

2 replies

  1. Daniel Hannan is indeed a treasure for what he says. Not sure he does much though as there are not enough of him — yet.

    However, that’s not my reason for commenting. I think it might be a good opportunity to list the particulars that propelled you to say the following.
    “What a shame that Judith Collins is so disrespectful of this historic document that she would hasten to introduce so many laws that defy our traditional right to due process. Generally she is a reasonably good politician compared to most, and I hope it is just oversight….”

    I certainly don’t know why this woman was mentioned and only can guess. So too it may be with others who read it. And certainly, if by some miracle, your words survive the coming catastrophe. There would be more meaning to those who survive to know of the depths we had fallen by piecemeal.

    Like

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