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MAGNA CARTA

...  AND THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM UNDER THE LAW

THE BACKGROUND TO 65 YEARS OF EUROPEAN FREEDOM

Big Year for Freedom PNG

Magna Carta, the great Charter of written law was forged from the ancient freedoms of common law.  

It was the first living document to establish that some freedoms live outside the realm of those holding power.

 

The name of Magna Carta was invoked by the founders of America in the establishment of their constitution and its' echoes can be heard behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted after two World Wars when some began looking to a 'living law' once more.

 

In Europe Human Rights were campaigned for by lawyers and politicians from around the continent.

The living law they created was the

European Convention on Human Rights.

 

‘Maxwell-Fyfe’s involvement in drafting the ECHR was key. In certain ways, in his very person he also provided a living link between the Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Just as the Universal Declaration reflected the insights and experiences of men and women who had just witnessed and in some cases had been personally devastated by the events of the second world war so the text of the European Convention was moulded by a man who had been indelibly affected by the same epoch making events.’

 

Francesca Klug - A Magna Carta for all Humanity published Routledge 2015

From Runnymede to Barnes,

a short film

written, presented and edited by

Lily Blackmore and Robert Blackmore

English Cabaret broadcast their first livestreams with Dreams of Peace & Freedom. Here you can hear part of the Barnes performance, sung by Lily Blackmore,

Sue Casson and Jocasta Roper,

with narration by Robert Blackmore.

Big Year for Freedom PNG Dreams of peace poster 30x30mm Banner FINAL - DoPaF (2)

T H E L A W I S A L I V I N G T H I N G

In 1957 David Maxwell Fyfe made a speech to The American Bar Association on the occasion of their visit to dedicate a plaque to Magna Carta at Runnymede.

'In 1924 a young lawyer such as I thought of the rule of law as something unassailable:

 

We imagined that the horrors and sacrifices of the First World War had not been futile, and that mankind had at last learnt its lesson and would henceforth live in accordance with reason.

 

What happened to those fond imaginings?

 

Every hope that we nursed was disappointed; reason was once more dethroned; one brutalising dogma after another bore dreadful fruit.'

'...there is a doctrine which has for various reasons become a little dusty and old-fashioned in recent years and which I myself should like to see restored to the position that it used to occupy.

 

I refer to the doctrine of the law of nature.

 

"You may throw out Nature with a pitchfork", said a Latin poet who was also a good gardener, "but she will always come back."'

Close monument

From David Maxwell Fyfe's speech to

The American Bar Association1957

From David Maxwell Fyfe's speech to

The American Bar Association1957

RUNNYMEDE and THE OLD SORTING OFFICE, BARNES GREEN 20th MARCH 2015

English Cabaret popped up in Runnymede and at The Old Sorting Office in Barnes during their music festival, celebrating 'Magna Carta, Music and Freedom' to mark the 8000th anniversary of the visit of Archbishop Stephen Langton to Barnes on his return from the Magna Carta sealing at Runnymede to consecrate St Mary's Church Barnes.

Runnymede 3 Barnes 7

'Wonderful harmonies'

'I was blown away'

Post show Vox Pops

St Marys 1 Runnymede 4

SALISBURY, BURY ST EDMUNDS and LINCOLN

English Cabaret went to visit the original Magna Carta on display in Salisbury and Lincoln Cathedrals and popped into the Abbey in Bury St Edmunds (now a ruin) where the Barons met to draw up the Charter.

Lincoln 12 Salisbury 2 Bury 15 Bury 5