July 13, 2012

Magna Carta
Photo by Pedro Lourenco Venda

A clause from the Magna Carta, a peace settlement between King John and his most powerful subjects, signed on 15 June 1215.

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 condemn him but by lawful judgment of his equals or by lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.

I was struck by just how appropriate this is today, nearly 800 years after if was written. We live in an age where people are detained without trial, subject to extrajudicial transfer from one state to another and governments propose imprisoning individuals even if they have not committed a crime.


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