Monday, March 30, 2015

Sir John Baker to Lecture on Magna Carta at St. Andrews

On Thursday, April 2, Sir John Baker, the Downing Professor Emeritus of the Laws of England at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, will give a paper entitled Magna Carta – Statute or Myth? as the annual lecture of the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature, University of St Andrews:
Magna Carta has had an immense influence on hearts and minds, and even events, over the last eight hundred years. Yet it is not always understood that this has been achieved more by magic than by operation of positive law. Much of the text was obsolete or obsolescent five hundred years ago, and what remained was difficult even for the lawyers of those days to interpret. In any case, no remedies were provided for private subjects in case the words were not observed by the king. The lecture will address some of these legal difficulties and outline how and when they were overcome.