Monday, December 14, 2020

Happold on the Magna Carta Myth

Matthew Happold, Université du Luxembourg, has posted Magna Carta Past and Present: A Speech given to the Oxford University Society of Luxembourg, 10 September 2015:

A speech given to the Oxford University Society of Luxembourg to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.  Looking at Magna Carta - how it came about, what it was, what it achieved, and what it came to represent - it argues that the myth of Magna Carta has been much more powerful than the reality. It concludes that invocations of Magna Carta can be double-edged. One the one hand, they extol the rule of law, but on the other they eulogize English exceptionalism. So it is no surprise that the British Government has seen no contradiction in celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta whilst exploring the possibility of denouncing the European Convention on Human Rights in favour of a British Bill of rights and responsibilities.
--Dan Ernst