Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights: A Comparative Study

Critiquing the Magna Carta

A Critical Look at the Magna Carta

What distinctive differences should there be for a legal system built on the idea that people are unique creations that bear the image of God?

     The idea that people are unique beings created in the image of God means that humans are a representation of God on earth. As such, legal systems that acknowledge such belief must uphold the sacred nature of human life, as humans are a representation of a deity. Furthermore, the laws of such jurisdictions reflect the dominant nature of human beings over nature. However, apart from the privileges that such legal systems would accord human beings on the basis of their supremacy, the laws of the land should also carry obligations that direct the citizens to act within godly tenets. Overall, with privileges come responsibilities, and even Biblical scripture issues promises, privileges, and obligations. Therefore, legal systems that are formulated under the belief that the likeness of God is exemplified in human beings must also set out clear responsibilities to humans.

What are the implications of rights that come from God as opposed to rights that come from human agreement?

     Human agreements are based on the prevailing circumstances, and when the conditions are no longer as they were, such agreements may lose their value or applicability. However, rights that come from God are stable and do not wane based on prevailing circumstances. Divine rights cannot be changed by human will or want and they remain applicable through the years. Similarly, rights based on human agreements may be based on the current relationship between the person creating or securing the rights and their recipient. Therefore, if the relationship between the parties deteriorates, the guarantor of the right may at any time rescind the right, causing the recipient to be left stranded. However, the rights from God are constant to all people, and they are not limited by the momentary shortcomings of individuals. The major difference between rights given by God and those secured by agreements is the stability of the latter, due to the constant nature of God.

What surprised you the most about the clauses in Magna Carta that you read?

     Magna Carta is one of the fundamental documents on human rights in the modern industry. IN fact, Magna Carta served as the foundation for a number of modern laws protecting human rights. What surprised me most about the Magna Carta clauses is that only four out of the 63 are currently functional herein including right to jury. Also, of the 63 clauses, only a few address issue of legal principles. At the same time, one has to appreciate the significant value of the document for the modern fields of law and human rights.

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Reference

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, “Natural Law,” Encyclopedia Britannica, September 7, 2022, https://www.britannica.com/topic/natural-law.

Carlson, John D. “Rights versus Right Order: Two Theological Traditions of Justice and Their Implications for Christian Ethics and Pluralistic Polities.” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 36, no. 2 (2016): 79-100. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44504839

This type of legal system was based on the idea that human life is sacred, proof that humans are a creation and image of God on earth. It exalts the dominion of man over nature and also places responsibilities upon citizens to live within divinely set parameters. The system provides equilibrium between privileges and responsibilities, seeking to mirror in its structure Biblical dictum that amalgamates promises and duties.

Rights from God are not variable and do not depend on the circumstances or human will. Unlike rights as a result of human agreements, which may lose value or relevance when circumstances change or relationships get bad, they are always applicable at all times. Hence, divine rights are universal and not affected by personal deficiencies hence serve as more lasting grounds for legal procedures.

The Magna Carta is the basis of modern human rights and legal principles. Although today only a handful of its initial sixty-three clauses retain real currency, the influence it had on how legal systems developed is huge in particular to recognition given over time to having rights connected with jury. It paved the way for a number of modern human rights laws, thus becoming one of those significant events in world history.

In such a legal system, laws are governed by humans over the natural world; as only man can represent God on earth. This superiority, nevertheless, is offset with a feeling of obligation to the nature and environment due to belief in acting based on divine principles or respecting sanctification applied everywhere.

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