The Constitution Unit


Magna Carta and Its Modern Legacy

This project was led by Professor Robert Hazell and Dr James Melton. To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015, the Political Studies Association invited Robert Hazell to produce a book analysing Magna Carta's influence from a political science perspective. Working together with James Melton, he convened a conference of international experts in 2014, and the conference papers were published in the edited book Magna Carta and its Modern Legacy (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

The book draws from political science writing on influence and constitutional design to explain how the ideas in Magna Carta came to constrain executive power. Individual chapters on Britain discuss socio-economic rights in Magna Carta (Geraldine van Bueren); Magna Carta and the British constitution (Vernon Bogdanor); Who are Britain's Barons Now? (Tony King); and public understanding of the Charter (Roger Mortimore). Internationally-focused chapters look at Magna Carta and jury trial in America (Renée Lerner); slavery in the Caribbean (Derek O'Brien); court delays in the Pacific (David Clark); the proportionality principle (Craig Lerner); and judicial supremacy (Victor Menaldo and Nora Webb Williams).