The Magna Carta Society
A Summary of Evidence
There is good
reason to think that the Treaties of Rome,
We argue that the signatories to those treaties on behalf of the United Kingdom exceeded their powers; that, since and including the passage of the 1972 Act, successive executives have systematically compromised the constitution of this sovereign nation and that all such actions are illegal and prima facie acts of treason; and that we have the right to seek redress by petitioning the hereditary House of Lords, which has an obligation to take such a petition to The Queen, who has an obligation to resolve the matter within forty days.
Further, we argue
Our justification for such awesome statements starts with Magna Carta, 1215, which gave sovereign recognition to already long-standing Anglo-Saxon common law, rights and customs. Some 150 years earlier William the Conqueror had made the first attempts to codify those rights and customs, which ultimately go back at least to the time of King Alfred and beyond.
Magna Carta is variously described as a covenant, contract or treaty. It is not an Act of Parliament. As we understand it, Magna Carta cannot be repealed by parliament. As a contract between sovereign and subjects, it can be breached only by one party or the other, but even in the breach it still stands. It is a mutual, binding agreement of indefinite duration. Any breach merely has the effect of giving the offended party rights of redress.
The present Queen referred
to Magna Carta as a peace treaty in a speech in
So, Magna Carta is an affirmation of common law based on principles of natural justice. These principles - and the document itself - pre-date Parliament.
To summarise our understanding of these principles and customs:
* Common law is the will and custom of the people.
* Statute law is the will of parliament. Statute can and does give expression to common law, but that common law cannot be disregarded by parliament, nor can it be repealed. It can only be extended - “improved” is the word used, but it is open to misuse.
* Parliament is made by the law, and is not above it.
* No Parliament can bind its successors.
* Parliament is answerable to the people, is elected by the people to protect their interests for a maximum of five years, after which time power is returned to the people who may grant it to another parliament for a further five years - and so on ad infinitum. (Thus is the sovereignty of the people established over parliament.)
* No Briton, including members of the police and armed forces, is above the law. We are all subjects of the crown first.
“The rights or…liberties of Englishmen…consist primarily in the free enjoyment of personal security, of personal liberty, and of private property…To vindicate these rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and lastly to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.
“And all these rights and liberties it is our birthright to enjoy entire; unless where the laws of our country have laid them under necessary restraints…so gentle and moderate…that no man of sense or probity would wish to see them slackened.”
Blackstone (1723-1780) Commentaries
on the Laws of
Magna Carta recognised that rights and customs were of equal importance to the people, and both were equally protected:
“And the city of
“If anyone has been dispossessed or removed by us, without the legal judgment of his peers, from his lands, castles, franchises, or from his right, we will immediately restore them to him; and if a dispute arise over this, then let it be decided by the five and twenty barons of whom mention is made below in the clause for securing the peace.”
Thus, Magna Carta recognised the authority of the House of Lords, established its constitutional role, and its composition for all time. A quorum is 25 hereditary peers:
“All fines made with us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all amercements, imposed unjustly and against the law of the land, shall be entirely remitted, or else it shall be done concerning them according to the decision of the five and twenty barons whom mention is made below in the clause for securing the peace, or according to the judgment of the majority of the same, …provided always that if any one or more of the aforesaid five and twenty barons are in a similar suit, they shall be removed as far as concerns this particular judgment, others being substituted in their places after having been selected by the rest of the same five and twenty for this purpose only, and after having been sworn.”
Article 61 of Magna Carta - the famous enforcement clause - specifically establishes majority voting, and requires four of the quorum of barons to take any grievances or petitions to the monarch, and admonishes the people to rise up against the monarch if and when such grievances are not corrected:
“Since…we have granted all these concessions, desirous that they should enjoy them in complete and firm endurance forever, we give and grant to them the underwritten security, namely, that the barons choose five and twenty barons of the kingdom, whomsoever they will, who shall be bound with all their might, to observe and hold, and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties we have granted and confirmed to them by this our present Charter, so that if we, or our justiciar, or our bailiffs or any one of our officers, shall in anything be at fault towards anyone, or shall have broken any one of the articles of this peace or of this security, and the offence be notified to four barons of the foresaid five and twenty, the said four barons shall repair to us…and, laying the transgression before us, petition to have that transgression redressed without delay. And if we shall not have corrected the transgression…within forty days, reckoning from the time it has been intimated to us…the four barons aforesaid shall refer that matter to the rest of the five and twenty barons, and those five and twenty barons shall, together with the community of the whole realm, distrain and distress us in all possible ways, namely, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, and in any other way they can, until redress has been obtained as they deem fit…and when redress has been obtained, they shall resume their old relations towards us. And let whoever in the country desires it, swear to obey the orders of the said five and twenty barons for the execution of all the aforesaid matters, and along with them, to molest us to the utmost of his power; and we publicly and freely grant leave to everyone who wishes to swear, and we shall never forbid anyone to swear. All those, moreover, in the land who of themselves and of their own accord are unwilling to swear to the twenty five to help them in constraining and molesting us, we shall by our command compel the same to swear to the effect foresaid. And if any one of the five and twenty barons shall have died or departed from the land, or be incapacitated in any other manner which would prevent the foresaid provisions being carried out, those of the said twenty five barons who are left shall choose another in his place according to their own judgment, and he shall be sworn in the same way as the others. Further, in all matters, the execution of which is entrusted, to these twenty five barons, if perchance these twenty five are present and disagree about anything, or if some of them, after being summoned, are unwilling or unable to be present, that which the majority of those present ordain or command shall be held as fixed and established, exactly as if the whole twenty five had concurred in this; and the said twenty five shall swear that they will faithfully observe all that is aforesaid, and cause it to be observed with all their might. And we shall procure nothing from anyone, directly or indirectly, whereby any part of these concessions and liberties might be revoked or diminished; and if any such things has been procured, let it be void and null, and we shall never use it personally or by another.”
Although the Magna Carta pre-dates parliament by some 50 years it was subsequently enacted in 1297 with the passage of Edward 1’s Confirmation of the Great Charter Act, which included the words:
“And we will that if any judgement be given henceforth contrary to the points aforesaid by the justices or by any other (of) our ministers that hold plea before them against the points of the charters it shall be undone and holden for nought.”
The text later includes words to the effect that the “charter of liberties shall be kept on every point.”
This admonition was repeated at the Coronation of the young Henry III:
“…it shall be lawful for everyone in our realm to rise against us and use all the ways and means they can to hinder us…that each and every one shall be bound by our command…so that they shall in no way give attention to us but that they shall do everything that aims at our injury and shall in no way be bound to us until that in which we have transgressed and offenced shall have been by a fitting satisfaction brought again in due state….this having been done let them be obedient to us as they were before.”
Bracton’s great constitutional work written some time between 1235 and 1259, said:
“…the law makes the King. Let the King therefore bestow upon the law what the law bestows upon him, namely dominion and power, for there is no King where will rules and not law.”