Magna Carta
Mag·na Car·ta or Mag·na Char·ta /'mag-nə-'kär-tə/ n [Medieval Latin, literally, great charter]: a charter of liberties signed under duress by King John of England in 1215 that influenced the development of several modern legal and constitutional principles (as due process)

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

Magna Carta
n.
(Latin) Great Charter; an agreement signed by King John in England in 1215, guaranteeing political rights and liberty to his nobles and forming the foundation of English rights and privileges.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


Magna Carta
the 'Great Charter' of liberties, signed by King John at Runymede, 15 June 1215. One of the foundations of the notion of the rule of law. The barons made it clear that the king operated under legal constraints. Two clauses, 39 and 40, were developed to become a basis of the liberty of the subject to the present: 'No freeman shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possession, or outlawed or exiled or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land' (Clause 39)
'To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice' (Clause 40).

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


Magna Carta
An historical document from England that helped establish common law and statutes — in other words, it is a founding document of the law as we know it today. When King John reluctantly signed it in 1215, it was essentially a document for the nobility; however it became the basis of modern individual rights.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

Magna Carta
n.
   Latin for "Great Charter," it was a document delineating a series of laws establishing the rights of English barons and major landowners and limiting the absolute authority of the King of England. It became the basis for the rights of English citizens. It was signed reluctantly by King John on June 15, 1215, at Runnymede, at a table set up in a field under a canopy surrounded by the armed gentry. The Magna Carta was confirmed by John's son, Henry III, and in turn by Henry's son, Edward I. As John Cowell would write four centuries later: "although this charter consists of not above thirty seven Charters or Lawes yet it is of such extent, as all the Law wee have, is thought in some form to depend on it." Essentially a document for the nobility, it became the basis of individual rights as a part of the English Constitution, which is generally more custom than written documents. It is also spelled Magna Charta.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Magna Carta — La Magna Carta Libertatum ou Grande Charte est une charte de soixante trois articles arrachée par le baronnage anglais au roi Jean sans Terre[note 1] le 15 juin 1215 après une courte guerre civile notamment marquée par …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Magna carta — La Grande Charte ou Magna Carta Libertatum est une charte de 63 articles arrachée par le baronnage anglais au roi Jean sans Terre le 15 juin 1215 après une courte guerre civile notamment marquée par la prise de Londres, le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Magna Carta — • The charter of liberties granted by King John of England in 1215 and confirmed with modifications by Henry III in 1216, 1217, and 1225 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Magna Carta     Magna Carta …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Magna Carta — is the usual spelling now for the famous English charter of 1215, although Magna Charta, once the dominant form, is still sometimes found, especially in AmE. Charta and Carta are both valid forms in Latin …   Modern English usage

  • Magna Carta — Mag na Car ta, Magna Charta Mag na Char ta [L., great charter.] 1. The great Charter, so called, obtained by the English barons from King John, A. D. 1215. This name is also given to the charter granted to the people of England in the ninth year… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Magna Carta — also Magna Charta, 1560s, Medieval Latin, literally great charter (of English personal and political liberty), attested in Anglo Latin from 1279; obtained from King John, June 15, 1215. See MAGNATE (Cf. magnate), CARD (Cf. card) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Magna Carta — or Magna Charta [mag′nə kär′tə] n. [ML, lit., great charter] the great charter that King John of England was forced by the English barons to grant at Runnymede, June 15, 1215, traditionally interpreted as guaranteeing certain civil and political… …   English World dictionary

  • Magna Carta — This article is about the English charter originally issued on 15 June 1215, and later modified. For other uses, see Magna Carta (disambiguation). Great Charter redirects here. For the Irish law, see Great Charter of Ireland. Magna Carta …   Wikipedia

  • Magna Carta — Kopie der Magna Charta von 1215 Die meist nur kurz als Magna Carta (auch: Magna Charta[1]) bezeichnete Magna Charta Libertatum – auf Deutsch etwa: „großer Freibrief“ – ist eine von König Johann Ohneland zu Runnymede in England am 15.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Magna Carta — /mag neuh kahr teuh/ 1. the great charter of English liberties, forced from King John by the English barons and sealed at Runnymede, June 15, 1215. 2. any fundamental constitution or law guaranteeing rights and liberties. Also, Magna Charta.… …   Universalium

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