On 23rd July, BLS is delighted to hold an event looking at risk and compliance for Law Firms from our partners Willis. Full details can be found here.
With 2015 being the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, members of the Willis and Corre Consulting team look to draw parallels with Magna Carta and the SRA Handbook.
The history of the Magna Carta is taught in schools up and down the land and it’s regarded as one of the most important documents in the world. The significance of this 800 year old deed cannot be underestimated, especially in legal circles. Why is the Magna Carta one of the most important historical documents? Had this manuscript not been forcibly signed by King John in a boggy Runnymede meadow on the banks of the river Thames in Surrey, it’s arguable that the rule of law in Great Britain could have evolved very differently.
The King was known to be a tyrant and his barons rebelled against him and his ruthless demands for more taxes from the wealthy landowners to fund the ongoing battles with the French which he was losing. The barons united and created the Magna Carta (The Great Charter) and forced King John to sign it in June 1215.
Even though the tyrannical King later staunchly refused to comply with the content of the deed, and had it repealed, the central message remains and forms a pivotal and fundamental aspect of modern legal systems around the world.
The central message is that the King or ruling monarch was not above the law and their power could be limited if they were not acting in the best interest of the country. The Magna Carta was the first formal document of its kind and its impact was fundamental to the positive treatment of individuals. No longer could they be arrested and stripped of their rights, homes and possessions at the King’s whim unless their equals agreed this should be done.
This right is enshrined in the central message of the Magna Carta “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 judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice…”
Although many of the 63 clauses of the original Magna Carta have since been repealed, three of its principles remained entrenched in the rule of British law and have influenced the way legal systems have developed around the world. The other two relate to protecting the rights of the Church and those of London to enjoy “its liberties and ancient customs”. In essence the protection of the previously unprotected is at the core of the Magna Carta, in the same way as the SRA’s Outcomes Focused Regulation seeks to protect the consumers of legal services.
Many events have been held around the UK to mark the 800 year anniversary of the signing of this historic document: the Corre team, a division of Willis, attended a celebratory dinner hosted by the Surrey Law Society in historic Runnymede.