Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest
Dr. Joshua Tate, Associate Professor of Law
Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
2017 marks the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest issued by King Henry III of England. Although less famous than the 1215 Great Charter of King John, the Charter of the Forest is the reason why the former acquired its name (Magna Carta, reissued in 1217, was called the “great” or “long” charter in comparison with the Forest Charter).
The Charter of the Forest allowed Englishmen to use certain common lands wrongly claimed by King John and his predecessors. Although the rights granted were narrower than the various procedural rights in Magna Carta, they had relevance for all the king’s subjects, not just the barons and great lords. In this lecture, Professor Tate will use these two charters to illustrate the problem of defining fundamental rights, and will explain how the real importance of the original Great Charter has sometimes been misunderstood.
View event flyer here
Location:Classroom Building II: 204