On the 15th and 16th June 2015 a conference took place at the Ward Room, University of Greenwich, Medway Campus. Speakers considered the relevance of the Magna Carta from different perspectives: the history of the document and the manuscript itself; the perspective of constitutional law, of a lawyer, a philosopher, of humanism, religion, and the international influence of the document. The main issue was how the heritage of the Magna Carta can be linked with our modern society.
A research report entitled “The Relevance of the Magna Carta for our Human and Civil Rights today” was presented at the conference. It discussed how the Magna Carta developed into a root document for human and civil rights, to what extent the actual provisions of the Magna Carta can be considered as forerunners of modern human rights provisions, and in what way the legacy of the Magna Carta is still relevant today for individuals invoking their rights, in particular the rights to liberty, fair trial and access to justice.
On 17th and 18th June workshops were held aimed at the general public. Six workshops took place: Politics, Discrimination, Migration, Freedom of Conscience and Expression, The Magna Carta in Education and Labour Market and Workers’ Rights.
An exhibition was on display all week. Historic tours to Rochester Castle were organised and also to Rochester Cathedral to view the Textus Roffensis. On Friday 19th June an NGO market was held where charities/human rights organisations had a stall.
In November a Conference Report was published. It contains reports of all the speeches, presentations and workshops held from 15-18th June. Both the research report and the conference report have been published in the Human Rights Office Report Series as no.6 and no.7 respectively. The exhibition displayed in the conference week will be placed on the website www.magnacarta800medway.org
Introduction – Runnymede and all that. Winston Churchill described the Magna Carta as “the foundation of principles and systems of government of which neither King John or his nobles dreamed”. Now in Politics we’re used to the law of unintended consequences...Read on...
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