Constitutional Rights Outlined By Magna Carta

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The rights and freedoms enjoyed by millions of people worldwide were made possible through the Magna Carta.

It is for this reason, says Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, that the Magna Carta is important to each and every one of us who now enjoy basic freedoms.

Speaking during the launch of an exhibition today at the Supreme Court Complex, Sir Marston stated: ???Magna Carta is important to us because it is the seed from which all of our rights and liberties that we now take for granted flow.?????

Those rights and freedoms include freedom of religion, the right not to be dispossessed of your land, and the right to a trial by jury.??

???All these rights we now take for granted began on a fateful day, the 15th of June, 1215, on the banks of the River Thames, when a monarch actually seeded some of his power to persons who were not of royal blood, but who said ???we do not any longer wish to live in a society where we have no say, and where we have no rights???,??? the Chief Justice pointed out.

Speaking to students from the Wesley Hall Primary School who toured the exhibits, the Chief Justice said Barbados??? constitution was a natural progression of a pact ???between the powerful, to giving rights and representation to the powerless???.

That, he explained, gave ???the weakest [person] in society??? the right to go to court on any matter where they believed that their rights were infringed.??

???This celebration this year is for the 800th anniversary of the signing of that document. We thought it a privilege and an honour that Barbados was chosen as one of the sites for the exhibition for the Magna Carta Commonwealth Charter???,??? Sir Marston said.

The exhibition displays the developmental history of the Magna Charter. The 800th anniversary is being seen as an opportunity to deepen the understanding of the crucial role it played in the development of countries like Barbados, and to commemorate the individual rights enjoyed today and strengthen human rights around the world.

The public is invited to view the exhibition, which will run until Wednesday, June 17, at the Supreme Court Complex, White Park Road, St. Michael, Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The exhibition will then move on to Malawi, Malaysia, and end in New Zealand.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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