The Magna Carta – Sam Godfree

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The Magna Carta – Sam Godfree

1-   The beginnings of the common law.

The common law is the English justice system which was introduced by Henry II.  He decided that trial by ordeal and trial by combat was not a very effective justice system. Whereas the law that he made which is trial by jury lets every citizen able to prove their innocence. Trial by ordeal and trial by combat were both based on the accused citizen being guilty until proven innocent. The trial by jury worked in a way that the citizen accused of a crime was innocent until proven guilty and the trial by jury worked by having the perpetrator stand in front of twelve of his peers and they would be given the information and evidence. The jury would make a vote of whether the perpetrator was innocent or guilty.

2-   What is the Magna Carta and who was involved with the signing of Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta was a document that King John was forced to sign which took away most of his power, the laws that the Magna Carta stopped trial by ordeal and trial by combat. It also took away the power of being able to accuse people of crimes that were based on rumours. Another thing the Magna Carta restricted was the amount of taxes the King could put upon his people and also the amount of time he could use people for battles.

3-   Who wrote the Magna Carta?

The people who were involved with the writing of the Magna Carta were nobles who were furious with the kings actions towards his people.

4-   When was the Magna Carta signed?

The Magna Carta was signed by the reigning King at the time, who was King John in 1215.

DIORAMA: In the diorama above, there is a knight reading the Magna Carta to citizens in the city.