On July 21, 2015, ICJ Canada, in collaboration with the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa along with the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec held private reception and viewing of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest at the Museum.
The Magna Carta remains a relevant and revered document, 800 years after England’s King John affixed his seal to it in 1215. This celebrated historical document, together with the Charter of the Forest, laid out key precepts that lay the foundations of democratic societies in Canada and around the world today — including the principle that no one is above the law, the foundations of the rule of law that include rights such as freedom from detention without cause and trial by jury; and protection of the common good and the some of the earliest enunciations of the rights of women. The most well known parts of the Great Charter included the following:
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled or in any other way destroyed, nor will we proceed with force against him, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice.” …Magna Carta 1215 Due Process of Law (Chapter 39,40)
Over 80 participants including judges of the Federal Court, lawyers, government officials and the general public along with ICJ Canada members enjoyed presentations on the modern day legacy of the Magna Carta by distinguished speakers before viewing the historic document. Speakers included Julia Nolan, Head Foreign Policy, British High Commission, Paul Crampton, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Canada, Nathalie Des Rosiers, Dean, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa, Bianca Gendreau, Manager, Contemporary Canada and the World, Museum of History and Professor Errol P. Mendes, President ICJ Canada. Professor Mendes encouraged those attending to join ICJ Canada and participate in its key initiatives and objectives.
It is hoped that there will be similar events organized by ICJ Canada members to celebrate the Great Charter across the country as the document travels to Toronto and Western Canada.