Over the past 3 months, our team of 5 U of A law students have been blogging every weekday about the Magna Carta in celebration of its 800th birthday. We started with a history of the document and summarized how it was shaped by the conditions of 1215. We then provided numerous connections to modern day legislation, and questioned whether or not the modifications have stayed true to the Magna Carta’s original intention. It is important to consider the roots of legal tradition and the effects it has on legislation, values, and justice in the present. While freedoms and restrictions often seem novel, we have demonstrated how some significant pieces of democratic society (such as the rule of law and habeas corpus) can be traced back at least 800 years. We also had the privilege of gaining insight on the Magna Carta and it’s legal ramifications by interviewing Dean Paul Paton, U of A law professors (Vice-Dean Moin Yahya, Erin Nelson, David Stam, Brian Kash, Cameron Jefferies, Eric Adams, Peter Carver, Patricia Paradis, and Ubaka Ogbogu), legal professionals (Justice Clackson), and other professionals (Dr. Jim Bell, Melanin 9, Brett Wilson, and Luciano Anselmo).
We hope that you have gained something over the last few months – whether it be learning about the origins of some basic rights, discovering modern policy that you didn’t know existed, discovering a new artist you’ve never heard of, or simply a 5 minute break from your daily grind. We are also fortunate to announce that we will be continuing this project through the fall, since the Magna Carta will be visiting Edmonton from November 23 - December 29. We will continue to post sporadically throughout the spring and summer, and in the fall we will be hosting several Magna Carta related events to continue to bolster excitement leading up to the exhibit.
We would like to extend great thanks to Vice-Dean Yahya for his guidance and unwavering support throughout the semester – without him this project would not exist. We would also like to thank all those who were willing to give us their time for interviews and insights, and to the media outlets and Magna Carta Canada who put our project in the spotlight. Finally, a special thank you to our families and friends, for their unconditional support. We appreciate everyone who sacrificed their time to contribute to a greater understanding of the Magna Carta, and we look forward to continuing to generate critical analysis and discussion.
Twitter account: @msmagnacarta