in what ways does the magna carta still impact law?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Magna Carta has been perhaps the greatest influence on our system of government and justice for all time. It's primary influence is that it instituted the principle of "rule of law," that is that the law is above the whim or will of any one person. Under Magna Carta, the King himself was subject to the law. In the United States, the President of the United States or any other government official is bound by the law. Secondly, the principle of trial by a jury of ones peers was established. Although there are rare exceptions (juveniles, etc.) in almost every legal proceeding one has the right to a trial by a jury of his peers, even for a simple traffic ticket. Finally, the idea of parliamentary legislation was introduced, an idea that is behind our United States Congress. It provides for laws to be passed by the duly elected representatives of the people, not by a single individual. The importance of Magna Carta can hardly be overstated.

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