Magna Carta and the Fundamental Right to Due Process

Magna Carta: 800 Anos de Influência no Constitucionalismo e nos Direitos Fundamentais (Zulmar Fachin, Jairo Néia Lima, and Éverton Willian Pona eds., 2015), pp. 129-137

SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 239

9 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2015 Last revised: 1 Feb 2016

See all articles by Joshua C. Tate

Joshua C. Tate

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: December 15, 2015

Abstract

The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta has been marked by much pageantry and celebration. Some scholars have taken this opportunity to point out that the myth of Magna Carta is far greater than what the actual 1215 Charter managed to accomplish. Nevertheless, Magna Carta did make a meaningful and concrete contribution to due process in 1215, as shown by certain provisions that are seemingly overlooked by critics eager to downplay the Charter's importance. This Article highlights two lesser known clauses of Magna Carta that had real contemporary significance in guaranteeing the availability of jury trial for some categories of civil litigation. The ringing promises of Clauses 39 and 40 may have inspired great jurists and founders of nations, but the more humble Clauses 17 and 18 – specifying the proper location and manner of hearing certain civil cases – must also be taken into account in assessing the Charter's importance.

Keywords: Magna Carta, legal history, access to justice

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Tate, Joshua C., Magna Carta and the Fundamental Right to Due Process (December 15, 2015). Magna Carta: 800 Anos de Influência no Constitucionalismo e nos Direitos Fundamentais (Zulmar Fachin, Jairo Néia Lima, and Éverton Willian Pona eds., 2015), pp. 129-137; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 239. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705198

Joshua C. Tate (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
(214) 768-2791 (Phone)

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