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The History of Parliament Trust will be marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta by hosting a major international conference: ‘Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments: Constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000’. Click here for our dedicated site.The conference is the annual conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (ICHRPI).

‘Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments’ will take place at King’s College, London, Royal Holloway, London and Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, between 30th June and 4th July 2015. The conference will mark two anniversaries of enormous significance in the history of English and British constitutional and legal history: the 800th anniversary of King John’s acceptance of Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties of the English nation in 1215; and the 750th anniversary of the Parliament summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265, following his defeat of King Henry III in a civil war which was the culmination of a baronial revolt.

The History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. Unparalleled in the comprehensiveness of its treatment, the History is generally regarded as one of the most ambitious, authoritative and well-researched projects in British history. All of our material is available for free online at and our research is still underway. Founded in 1936, ICHRPI is the international body for research into the origin, development and growth of parliamentary institutions throughout the world and in all periods (

‘Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments’ will take 1215 and 1265 as a starting point for an exploration of the initiation and development of political institutions from the early Middle Ages onwards, and an assessment of their role in state formation or nation building. It will consider the significance of foundational documents and events such as Magna Carta and the Montfort Parliament in the subsequent history of Parliament and political institutions.

The conference will have a strong comparative element, and will incorporate contributions from continental scholars and scholars of continental traditions. It will compare the foundation of the English and British constitutional tradition with those in jurisdictions elsewhere: it will explore other confrontations between communal traditions and royal powers and how these were expressed and resolved. It will seek to compare the development of the English political tradition with parallel contemporary institutions in Europe, and explore their divergence and/or convergence.

The conference will be held in the languages of the Commission: English, French and German. To find out more, read the full call for papers and keep up to date with news of the conference, please visit our website:

You can also contact Paul Seaward ([email protected]) or Emma Peplow ([email protected]).

The conference is kindly supported by UK Parliament, King’s College London, and Royal Holloway, University of London.

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