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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  November 23, 2014 9:00pm-9:44pm EST

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salesman and completely independent and able to make my way. you will pick up things as you go along, it is a matter of learning. it is aortantly, question of wanting to learn. for instance, in 1928, i was encouraged to take up flying as a hobby. after 15 hours, i went solo. after 15 hours, i to the special course on acrobatics. now i have over 300 hours of flying time. i have a productive life and a happy marriage. one of my boys is in the navy now. the loss of my arms has not in nearly the loss i thought it would be at first. with these arms, i can do practically anything anyone can do. there is no reason in the world you fellas cannot do the same. my neighbor has none of the
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characteristics of a superman. he is a man who lived normally before the war and set himself no goal but to live normally after it. succeeded because he had patience. he had faith in himself, and he knew it could be done. it took a little while. but he got there. >> ♪ next on american history tv, u.s. supreme court chief justice john roberts joins the former lord chief justice of england and wales to discuss the magna carta on its 800th anniversary and documents of importance to the american and british judicial system. at the library of
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congress where a 13th century copy of the magna carta is on display. king john signed the document under pressure from his parents in england -- his barons in england. >> good afternoon. i am the law librarian of congress. on behalf of the librarian of congress, i want to welcome all of you to the beautiful member's room here in the thomas jefferson building of the library of congress. we're very, very fortunate and honored today to have with us chief justice john roberts from the united states supreme court and the right honorable the lord judge former lord chief justice england and wales. they have both graciously agreed to sit down with us today to have a conversation about magna carta and it's legal legacy. tomorrow's a very big day for us here at the library of congress. and in particular, the staff of the law library.
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for three years, we've been planning and working, and so finally tomorrow we will be able to open officially our exhibit, "magna carta: muse and mentor." it'll be right upstairs here in the south gallery of this building, and it has been a joy working on this for three years. the exhibition is the beginning for the library to celebrate the 800th anniversary of magna carta which will take place next year. now as i know many of you know, the centerpiece for the library of congress exhibition will be the magnificent lincoln king john magna carta which is graciously loaned to us to the library from lincoln cathedral in lincoln, england. it is one of the four existing exemplifications or copies of magna carta that king john granted in 1215. tomorrow the exhibition opens , and it also allows us to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first time that the king john, lincoln king john magna carta was on display here at the library of congress. some of you may know that in
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1939, in november of 1939, the lincoln magna carta was entrusted to the library of congress and then put on display. but it was entrusted to us for safekeeping at the very beginning of world war ii. so our exhibition upstairs will help illustrate magna carta's influence on the history of the rule of law and its impact on the development of the constitutional order here in america. and in particular, it highlights several legal principles which draw their roots from 17th century interpretations of magna carta. and those are legal principles like the principle of representative government, the right to due process of law, the right to trial by jury, the protection from unlawful imprisonment, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and of course, the theory of limited government. so, what better way than to prepare for tomorrow's opening to sit with chief justice roberts and lord judge to have a conversation about this great
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document to hear their thoughts on its legacy? so thank you very much, lord judge and chief justice roberts. >> sure. >> now chief justice roberts, as i'm sure most of you know, began his appointment as chief justice of the united states and head of the federal judiciary here in the united states in 2005. lord judge was appointed lord chief justice of england and whales in 2008 and as lord chief justice of england and whales he was head of the judiciary and president of the courts of of england and wales. i should probably mention one other thing that in addition to both of them leading the judiciary in their respective countries, one other item that they have in common is that both are benchers of the honorable society of the middle temple which is one of the four ancient organizations in england that has the privilege of calling their members to be barristers in england, so with that
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introduction i want to start, excuse me, i thought we could start with our conversation focusing on magna carta and it's meaning to us in the present time, in modern times. and so when we talk about magna carta now we focus on the fact that it was a great influence on the development of legal systems across the world and on the rise of the modern state, but we also know that in the united kingdom in particular, most of the provisions of magna carta have been repealed and certainly in the united states if magna carta were ever considered constitutional law and i say that with a small c, certainly it would have been superseded by the united states constitution. so, my question is why is it important for us for our respective countries to continue to commemorate magna carta in in this way, and i will start with justice roberts. >> thank you.
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well, it is of course first and foremost, an imposing symbol. the exact origins of it, i don't think it would have been regarded as a bill of rights when it was issued. the barons and the king, i don't think were terribly interested in promulgating rights that would apply across the board, but over time it has become a critical symbol. it was a vital symbol during our revolution. john adams referred to it frequently. if you look at the original seal of the state of massachusetts it , it shows a militiaman with sword in one hand and a copy of magna carta in the other. it embodied for the columnist -- colonists first what they were looking for in the beginning. they were not looking for independence. they were looking for the rights of englishmen to which they thought they were entitled, and those were represented by magna carta. and it was, as the state seal of massachusetts, engraved by paul revere, shows that's what they
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were fighting for. the sword in one hand, magna carta in the other. and you mentioned the 1939 transfer of magna carta for safe keeping. again, that was an extraordinarily powerful symbol. the british did not give it over lightly, and i think they did so in a very calculated way. they wanted to remind us that this is what they were fighting for and convey the strong message that you should be, too. so, it is very useful as a symbol that represents the rule of law, liberties. it's been reinvented over the years. the american colonists, when they looked to it, were looking to it as interpretive by blackstone, which gave a lot more substance to it as a an i think liberty th
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might have been done in earlier centuries. but it was a powerful symbol at the time of the revolution. it continued to be a powerful symbol at the time of the second world war. and it's available whenever you do need to resort to something that in a tangible way represents these basic fundamental liberties. >> lord judge. >> i rather agree with that, and i think that what the chief justice has said about the magna carta being here in 1939 reminds us that although this sounds as though it's an academic subject, it isn't. in 1939 and 1940, there was a very strong possibility by the , end of 1940, all of europe via offshore, were under the jackboot. it's easy for us sitting in this beautiful building to take for granted that all the things that matter to us about our freedoms are there to last forever. well, they don't necessarily last forever. in 1939-1940, england was very close -- britain was very close
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to losing the war. for the charter to be here meant that it would be preserved. of course, lincoln cathedral wanted it back. any cathedral that has a 1215 charter has a treasure of infinite magnitude. but if you don't take your freedoms for granted, then magna carta becomes a much more vivid, vibrant document. if i may just go back to it, there are actually four charters -- 1215, 1216, 1217, and 1225. none of them is called magna carta. king john never signed one. he sealed it. and the three things that are perhaps most important in it, one clause that people always forget is clause 61. and it's from this that we take the very vivid principle that nobody is above the law.
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no king, king anointed, god's servant, inherits by divine luck you could call it, but right. right. now every king in medieval europe made an oath that he would be a good king, do lots of justice, look after lots of poor people, all of something that you would want your new king to do. but in medieval europe if the king didn't provide justice and so on and so forth, i'm afraid they took the view that he had to answer to god in heaven. well, when the king's dead it's not much good if you've had no justice or have been properly looked after. and what magna carta did was to say in clause 61, "if the king does not abide by the charter when he's notified that he is in breach of it, in effect a council of 25 barons can take over the running of the kingdom." they're not to harm him. they're not to injure him. they're not to treat him with violence or his family, but
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they're no longer stuck with the oath of allegiance and fealty. this, i think, is a fantastically important moment. suddenly, the king is answerable on earth, not just in heaven, and from this we derive constant references through the middle ages to the king not being above the law. the law comes first, the king comes second. he's certainly the most important person in the kingdom. but he is beneath the law. and that i think leads us to this really important point which is easy in a democracy to overlook, but which in any dictatorship would be no trouble at all. no king is above the law. no president is above the law. no executive is above the law. everyone is answerable for his actions or her actions in court. and that leads to the second. but i'm not going to talk about this too long. but we're all entitled to justice. the clauses don't just say justice.
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they talk about right and justice. there weren't many rights about in 1215, but over the centuries our rights have come to be established and you find the preservation, the entitlement to a court system that will preserve your rights is there, found within the charter. and i regard the insistence in the charter on right and justice has been its second most important legacy to us. because again, here in the office of chief justice of the united states, the office i once held in england, we are there responsible for seeing that justice is available to all our citizens, even if they're taking on the president or they're taking on the government, the prime minister in our case, all the great local body, great local authority. these rights are recognized in the charter. the barons weren't thinking of us. the barons weren't, you know,
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full of ideas about voting of . of course they weren't, but as our country developed and then yours did from ours in the constitutional arrangement these , things became part of the country. in england, now if somebody says something here, let's do something that most people would regard as diabolical and dictatorial, everybody says it's against magna carta. it isn't against magna carta. there isn't a word in magna carta about trial by jury. but people think of magna carta as representing their rights, their entitlements, the need for justice be done, and most important of all, equality before the law. i'm sorry i've gone on too long. >> oh, no, no. that's quite alright because that leads right into the second question in relation of the magna carta specific to the law . and you'd mentioned no one is above the law specifically. so now that we know that magna carta is more a symbol it
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, represents as opposed to specific provision in there, why is it then that today that people should still cite to it especially in law for example if they have a submission to the court or perhaps a judicial opinion coming out, is there more reason other than what you might have talked about then for having references to magna carta? i mean is it just simply that rhetoric or are there real, true, deeper meanings for us to do that? >> but do you want the chief justice to answer on that? >> well, sure. if you're citing to magna carta in a brief before the supreme court of the united states or at an argument, you're in pretty bad shape. [laughter] we like our authorities a little more current and a little more directly on point. i went back and looked and magna carta has been cited in supreme court opinions of the united
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states only 150 times which isn't that many over 2 two centuries. i did once not too long ago, in the case which was a religious free exercise case and i thought it was interesting that the very first paragraph of magna carta preserves the freedoms of the church of england including the right to free election of clergy. and i also noticed though and it's something that i think , tells you a lot about magna history that , there was a writ issued by henry ii directing a group to hold a free election but forbidding them to elect anyone other than richard his clerk.
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so, at least for many centuries the sentiment was there and could be looked to in magna carta but the reality was often quite different, so obviously it's a source of many provisions that are cited to the court, but the citations to magna carta itself are really quite unusual. >> our experience is much the same. if the best you can do is magna carter on the whole, you are on thin ground. because there have been, well you have a written constitution we have a partly written , constitution, part in not, but it still, magna carta still carries a resonance in the court process. now for example a few years ago our civil justice system was in , some disarray. the cases were taking too long to come on, they were just sort of meandering and the judiciary decided this was not the way the administration of justice should operate.
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and relying on magna carta, certainly referring to magna carta and not delaying justice and justice delayed is justice denied, a whole new branch of jurisprudence called want of prosecution was created. now, nobody says i'm citing magna carta because this case is -- has just meandered on for 27 years and ought to be stopped, but the structure of saying we will not put up with this, the judicial system cannot accept slow turgid process had magna carta has part of the support for it, so yes, if you say magna carta you're probably a bit short of better authority . but nevertheless it remains a useful reminder to all us , including the judges that , there some very basic govern ourwhich lives, govern our judicial lives in which we should be alert to.
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and then bear in mind, and one last point on this, david said at his introduction, we talk about due process, we talk about habeas corpus, we talk about impartial juries, we have bill of rights in england you have your bill of rights here. these are in direct lineage for magna carta. so the fact that if council comes along and says magna carta is my best authority that doesn't seem very strong. when you examine the lineage which has come down to us from magna carta, many of the arguments which are well-founded stem originally from the thought process that has developed over the last 800 years. >> ok. well thank you. , i think maybe we'll move along then and talk a little bit about magna carta and it's relation to the development of a constitutional government then, outside of the law i guess in this context, because when i mentioned the library's exhibition i said that a lot of the principles that we focus on
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are drawn from interpretations of 17th century english jurists. but then people here today will ask us, well you know if you look at it in that context it wasn't talking about a democracy as we know it today. certainly democracy we say as you know, legitimacy of the state and then depends on the will of all the people and so back then it was king john and barons, but how did those pre-democratic origins of the times in england and certainly a few years later here on this side of the atlantic ocean, how did that influence the development of the legal system and the development of a constitutional government then? i keep turning to you. >> well, it's an interesting relationship because the development of our constitution if you look at it from one perspective had quite little to do with magna carta despite its
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prominent role in the revolution. magna carta is mentioned only once in the federalist papers and in a distinguishing way. hamilton in federalist 84 made the point that we do not derive our rights from the sovereign. that is not how our new constitution is going to operate. we're protecting our liberties by insuring that the government we're setting up has only those limited powers that we give them, that we the people give in the constitution. our protection is not rights from the king, our protection is that we are setting up the government and we are going to allow it to do only a limited number of things. so you would look at that and say magna carta had very little role to play, but in fact you need to look at magna carta in more nuanced way. we think of it as a laundry list of rights, but it is also a reflection of the notion of a
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separation of powers. in fact, it may make more sense to view it that way. in the sense you had the king with authority and barons claiming their own authority, most prominently of course with respect to taxation. and that is of course very much the most significant contribution of american cortical thought, the notion of a government of separated -- separation of powers. and i do think that does trace somewhat back to magna carta. >> again, i agree with the chief. the reason why magna carta survived at all is a pure historic accident. i mean as i said earlier , monarchs all over the continent were dishing out charters as the golden bull
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things alll these , promising to do all these things. the thing that made the difference and it became of course the core for the colonists in 1765 when the stamp act was passed was that there had to be link, as it happened between the king raising money i.e. taxation when he couldn't live off his own resources and calling a council. and it's not representative of government at all, but in the clauses of magna carta itself there's a clause called the scutage clause. would you all like to know what the scutage clause is? i'll it comes from the latin for shield. when you owned a lot of land you were entitled to say to your villain or your inferior, you bring 3 soldiers, i'm off to fight a war. well, bringing 3 soldiers who
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were you know the old boy on the farm who got a bad back, somebody got a billhook and somebody got a rake wasn't very clever, so he said we'll change this just give us some money, we'll employ the mercenaries who know how to fight. and in magna carta itself the scutage clause provides the king cannot raise it, cannot raise this tax without consent. now, so many things stem from that. once the king can't rule out of his own money, he has to go and ask. the 1225 charter was an actually direct deal. you can have your tax if you will give us the charter. and so it went on and on until our stewart kings which is the time when your great country was being founded decided they , didn't agree with this taxation without representation. it was a perfectly sensible way to go if you were a scottish king with a divine right to rule, your subjects could rely on you to do the right thing. and it was this battle that went on in our country, but
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ultimately resulted in not a democratic process, but a parliamentary process. and it was to this very line that john dickenson was referring when in 1765 the stamp act was passed by british parliament; for the first time imposing direct taxation on the citizens of the colonies. they had plenty of tax for imports and exports, but direct taxation that suddenly this issue came alive; hang on we're being taxed and they were and they're not represented anywhere and they weren't. and so the no taxation without representation is actually a long continuing steady development as part of the process which culminated eventually in why should only , people with land have a vote? why should only men have a vote? why should slaves exist? and so, each generation sees new things that it finds unacceptable and as a result, we hopefully improve our societies, but all stems from this process.
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>> thank you, lord judge. i want to go back to something that chief justice mentioned in his previous comment of separation of power because that is one of the questions i had planned on asking. because when we talk about magna carta the story, the myth if you will, over the years it allows us to symbolically represent democracy, you know, the king representing someone who is overreaching the state and the barons are the people. but in our contemporary legal systems it's the judiciary that , you both have, have had it your case, that played the role of deciding, you know, whether there should be a limit or not a limit or if something has been overstepped. things like that. and so i'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about the ideal of that commitment within magna carta to the rule of law. does that allow them for this
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judicial review? is perhaps that the judicial review coming from somewhere else? >> well, i don't think, if i may go first john, but magna carta had judicial review in mind. i really don't think the barons were after that. what i think is interesting is the way in which your constitutional arrangement developed after the war of independence, after the treaty of paris i think the madison decision is absolutely fascinating because it ultimately illustrates the difference between your constitutional arrangements and ours. your supreme court has a much greater, more significant role in the constitutional arrangements of your country than our supreme court has. in our country ultimately , parliament is sovereign. you decided that after all a parliament that could pass the stamp act and impose taxation on you and then the declaration that you had to obey in the act
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-- any act of parliament and whatever happened and so on and so forth, it was not the way to go forward. because of this, our systems diverged. you created a supreme court system which is much more significant constitution than ours. we rest most of our powers to parliament, but in the end in our country the judges have to , make sure that everybody is acting in accordance with the law, so we have plenty of judicial review proceedings, our present government is taking very great umbrage of the number of judicial review applications that are made. the way you challenge somebody who has exercised power which he or she does not have is in our country through judicial review . but it's a slightly different process to the one that you have here where, well let me explain what i mean. termination of pregnancy i know , a very sensitive subject. ultimately is decided here by your supreme court.
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in england, wales, and great britain, it is decided ultimately by parliament. so the two constitutions diverge, and i think the divergence was consequent on what parliament had done to the colonists in the 18th century. >> it's interesting if you go look one of the great doors on the front of the supreme court there's one with four panels. , the panel on the bottom is king john sealing magna carta, . the next panel up is the 1275 statute of westminster. and the next one up is lord coke i. james and on top is john marshall and joseph story and they're said to be discussing marbury versus madison showing the direct lineage from magna carta on up to what you rightly say is the foundation of judicial review on our country. now unfortunately cass gilbert, the architect, said no, they
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weren't talking about marbury at all. but that's one of those, you know, the facts shouldn't interfere with a good story. [laughter] but magna carta was significant with respect to judicial review in another way. it was written down and that , became very important for us. if you read marbury against madison, marshall said is basically we have this text and we have this statute. and if the statute conflicts with this text, one or the other has to yield and we are enforcing this judgment. we're just deciding a simple case between marbury and madison but to do so, we have to see which text controls. and obviously the constitution trumps the statute. and there is no judicial review clause in the constitution. there is a provision that the court will decide cases in controversies.
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and all marshall said was, well if we have to decide a case we , we have to decide whether the statute conflicts with the constitution. and we have to decide what the constitution a trumps, so the fact that you're dealing with a written document was very important in marbury versus madison and from our perspective at least that's one of the important features of magna carta. and also one of the things that makes the institution of judicial review a little more palatable from democratic theory in our system. you are dealing with a writing, you are not dealing with some broader interpretation that you might expect from the political branches and at least on the theory of how law was practiced at the time you are not imposing your will on the question. you are simply construing a legal document. the fact that there is a writing there i think makes the institution of judicial review more acceptable. >> thank you. one other area that i thought might be of interest to our audience is talking about magna carta and the concept of higher
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law and here what i'm talking about is the underlying tradition that there is a higher law underlying some of our rights. and so of course we know that magna carta itself does not set itself apart as the higher law of sorts. but in 17th century interpretations of magna carta it used in that way as a model , for upholding constitutional limits to statutes. since we've talked about it, i guess i'll start with chief justice roberts. that model may necessarily work -- may not necessarily work for us today. is there anything that we might cite to as an analog from our legal system that can lead us to this similar reading? >> well, you know in our legal , system and we do think of still as ours, it would be something like magna carta. we don't have a higher law in the sense of a natural law or something that would supersede the constitution, this puts us
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-- this gets back to what we were mentioning earlier, the constitution was granted by we the people. and so you would not look to some principle of higher law to inform the interpretation. but if you are asking for where the spirit of the document can be found, it does goes back to magna carta. we claim that as much of our legal heritage as you do lord , lord judge. in obvious ways, the constitution did not contain a bill of rights that's consistent with a notion; we don't need a bill of rights because the government only has such powers as we have decided to give it. now to get the constitution ratified, they needed to more or less promise well we'll add a bill of rights at the end. and when you look at it it , certainly has echoes of magna
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carta in it. so, i can see people thinking of magna carta as a higher law that informed our constitution, but it wouldn't be something that we would cite to and say we would appeal to it to get beyond the constitution as some theorists of natural law might. >> well, again i share that , view. i think you need to be rather careful whether they're jurists, judges, academics, or just citizens or even just politicians claiming that there's some natural law to justify whatever it is they wish to justify. it becomes very vague doesn't it? your natural law, your sense of morality, mine, his, hers can all be very different. you do need to have a very clear structure and certainty in the law. i don't think magna carta was appealing to any higher authority. i think magna carta was just trying to bring the king down to earth, subject to the law.
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and the only other thing i would add is that i think it's very significant that when the first charter of virginia was issued in 1616, guess what it's title was? the great charter, magna carta . and it was created by a man called edwin sandys who was a member of the middle temple that like your chief is and i am who had been imprisoned by the king. but somehow or other he bamboozled the king into giving this charter to virginia in which the rights of the colonists in virginia were to be the same as an englishman and they expressly included equality before the law, freedom of speech, and trial by jury and . thus the first charter in the united states, future united states, came to be called in in effect, only in english, magna carta. there's a whole lot of stories
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about this that can go on, but what i'm driving at is that it's not a higher law issue at all, it's these are the rights that you have is a colonist. and it was those rights that the colonists in 1776 and so on were fighting to achieve for themselves because they weren't getting them. >> thank you. well, i have two more questions. the first one is really talking about magna carta and it's symbols since we are celebrating its 800th anniversary, well next year we'll celebrate its 800th anniversary, but really thinking about magna carta and the future . and so we liked as we mentioned quite a few times here that it's more of a symbol. it symbolizes rule of law and insurrection against tyranny limited government, popular , sovereignty. but i guess my question to you would be, if you were
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to think about this as a symbol which one of those or any other ones perhaps that might stand for would you prefer magna carta to stand for the next 800 years to lead us forward into the future? >> i have no doubt about my view. it's rule of law. because all the others actually stem from respect for the rule of law, so that's the one that i would say is the most precious of all and the one which i hope will continue. >> short and sweet. >> well i certainly agree with that. i mean it is the basis and then when you think of magna carta as a symbol i like to think of it as the cornerstone. we celebrate the 800th birthday as we would celebrate the laying of a cornerstone for a building buildin. what we've built on that cornerstone is something we call the rule of law. you have to be careful not to think of it as sort of a throw away phrase.
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lord judge you and i see it , every day just across the street, to be there 9 lawyers and in front of us is another lawyer arguing a particular point, let's say. you know when i practiced i always felt thrilled to be able to stand up and represent the united states, but when i was in private practice it was a little more thrilling because you knew that all you had to do was convince 5 other lawyers that your view was correct and the united states government, the most powerful force on earth would recede from their position. that's what we mean by the rule of law. that what happens in the supreme court building across the street, what happens in your judicial buildings, is a restraint of power and might exactly what the barons were doing when they coerced the king into granting the charters, so it's very much when you say the rule of law we need
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mean something very concrete and very practical and it certainly traces its origins to magna carta. >> thank you. >> and if i may just add, and one reason why we live in communities which are basically peaceful, and i know of course everybody has troubles from time to time, is that i believe am i being naive? that most people respect in our countries respect the rule of law. they don't want violence in the streets. they want people who are violent to be arrested. they don't want the strong to always win and this is the practical rule of law, this is what means that people go up and down the street just getting on with their lives looking after their families and so on and so forth, rule of law is not an esoteric wonderful academic subject, it's practical hard reality. >> thank you. my last question really was just to open it up and see if there was any one final thought that you would like us to think about ?
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>> well yes. , i want to go back to where i began. a few years ago i took to a seminar in europe in a wonderful city, it has a wonderful tradition of justice itself. every country in europe was represented. case,s how we would try a just alleging the facts. and so in each of courts in the great building in the hague this went on. i went over trial by jury. put on my red robes, pulled 12 members of the dutch public into the court, made them the jury and we did a little trial and afterwards i was explaining about trial by jury and saying to them, of course if we did have a government that said that all men with red hair must be in prison for six months, we'd like to think that such a statute would simply be disobeyed by a jury which would say not guilty
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even if the man's head was as red as a beacon. big joke. laughter. but afterwards the man who had been the chief justice in builds in belgium a man who i , respect very much, said you know that little joke you told i said yes, i said we don't , expect to have a government that's going to say men with red hair must go to prison for six months, he said you're forgetting. so i said, what's that? he said there isn't a country represented here which has not in this century had at least one government that was capable of making orders that led to people being locked up and in many cases killed. there isn't one here, you don't realize how fortunate your are that there's a channel between you and us. and we and you of course have got be careful never to take these things for granted. the rule of law applies because
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you have independent judges, but in the end it also matters that your community, our community, accept that this is the way we run. that there isn't a government that says, well the judges can say what they like, we're going to do this and that the governments also respect the rule of law. i think that's a crucial part of it, it's a community thing. we're all in it together, governments hate judges who make findings against them, of course they do, but nevertheless they respect it. and that's why we're lucky these traditions have gone on for a very long time and they're precious to us and precious to everybody in the street that i was talking about a few minutes ago. >> the most imposing, the most impressive, the most expansive list of rights that i have ever read was found in the constitution of the soviet union. the words that we're talking
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about whether in our bill of rights or in magna carta can be mere parchment barriers as one of the founders put it, unless they are supported by the people, in our case by we the people. over 800 years, the development of the rule of law or judge in your country and then in ours as well, is what underlies, it's what gives meaning to magna carta and it's continuing influence. and one reason i think the 800th celebration is so important , because it reminds us that we have the obligation to carry forward the values represented in that document so that it doesn't become simply a list of meaningless rights as it was in the soviet constitution.


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