The Magna Carta and the Constitution
Magna Carta’s original version which states that the king should not ignore or violate the traditions, customs or laws and could not take any arbitrary actions against his subjects. l Magna Carta provides for rule of law, ensures fairness tOf3 0T laws, contalns commitment to Oue process 0T law ana gives respect Tor economlc rights. While these rights were the privileges given to barons in England by way of declarations in Magna Carta, the founders of the U. S. drew inspiration from Magna Carta and made these rights applicable to all the citizens of America and became part of the Bill of Rights.
Magna Carta is therefore a source for the U. S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights 1791; which representing 10 amendments as part of the 1st amendment to the U. S. Constitutions. Clause 39 of Magna Carta provides that no freeman shall be punished except by lawful Judgment by his peers or by the laws of the land. This was to prevent the King to deliver sentences without the authority of law. The U. S. Constitution provides for rule of law by which no person is above the law. In this context both, Magna Carta and the U. S. Constitution are similar. Whereas the Magna Carta was issued by the Monarch, the U. S.
Constitution was given by Americans unto themselves. The 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution includes the stipulation of due process, this provides for fair trial before depriving any person of his life, liberty or property. The trial is what is meant by due process. Again it must be a fair trial as part of the due process. In The Magna Carta, the due process of law is known by law of the land and legal Judgment of peers. In order to constitute due process, there should be a right to fair and public trial, right to be present at the trial, presence of an impartial Jury, right to be heard as part of one’s own defense.
Besides, the laws must be in written form, taxes must be for only public purpose, and property can be taken only for public purpose with due compensation. In this way The Magna Carta pales in comparison due to not being as descriptive as the U. S. Constitution for the meaning of due process. Both Magna Carta and the U. S. Constitution require that laws shall be fair and discriminatory. Thus, Magna Carta and the U. S. Constitution share many things in common. Magna Carta of 121 5 was a bold initiative of the then King, without which the U. S. Constitution would have taken still longer time to be what it is today.