Magna Carta II to mark 800 years of rights

Last Updated: Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 13:32

London: Queen Elizabeth II will mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the first document imposed upon a King of England in an attempt to limit his power, by sealing a 21st-century version "reconfirming" its values.

According to plans being discussed by Buckingham Palace and organisers of the anniversary celebrations, the Queen would present the new charter at Runnymede in Surrey, where King John sealed the original in 1215, The Sunday Times reported.

The presentation would be witnessed by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, senior members of the royal family, the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.

Parliamentary clerks, lawyers and constitutional experts are to be consulted on whether a resolution of the Commons and the Lords is required, the daily said.

The new version would, according to sources, enshrine the principles set out in the original, particularly the notion that nobody is above the law.

"The Queen would be reconfirming the values of Magna Carta in the 21st century," a source was quoted by the daily as saying.

"That would be freedom under the law, the notion that nobody is above the law, equality and access to justice," the source said.

The plan will be seized on by those who view the anniversary celebrations as a way of reaffirming British values.

David Cameron wants every child to be taught about the "British values" in the charter, which he has described as "the foundation of all our liberties".

Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights.

The charter is widely known throughout the English speaking world as an important part of the protracted historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in England and beyond.

PTI

First Published: Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 13:32

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