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Magna Carta: some important clauses

Vox Pops in which members of public are asked to explain some clauses from the Magna Carta
17.8
No widow is to be forced to marry while she wishes to live without a husband as long as she promises that she will not marry without our consent. Basically, when a woman’s husband dies, she shouldn’t have to remarry. She should be allowed to have her own time to get used to what her situation is.
51.3
And clause 39– no free man is to be arrested or imprisoned except by the lawful judgement on his peers or by the law of the land.
66.4
Basically, it’s some kind of– I think some kind of court system has to be involved. It can’t just be I think he’s done something wrong. He’s going to gaol for the rest of his life or he’s being executed or something, basically.
85.1
Even if you just annoy the King or whoever slightly, he can’t imprison you unless you’ve actually broken the law.
95.4
And how do they decide if you’ve broken the law? By lawful judging. What does that mean? I don’t know.
117.1
Clause 40– we will not sell or deny or delay right or justice to anyone.
125.8
Sell as in– I think it’s you wouldn’t be bribed into imprisoning someone or paid off in a way– say gangsters of the 1930s or whatever. And then or deny– you can’t just turn your cheek. You can’t turn away from it. You can’t throw a blind eye, as they would call. Some people– the cops would be paid off, and then they’d just took away for the rest of the day or whatever. Or delay the right to justice to anyone, as in– I think it means you basically have to seek justice as quickly as possible. You can’t just have something come up and then just forget about it for a year, because that’s obviously not fair on the people involved.
175.5
That’s what I think, anyway.

What did Magna Carta actually say?

We took to the streets of Hereford again! This time we showed people some of the most important clauses in Magna Carta. We asked them to look at the clauses and try to explain what they meant.

Here are the clauses we showed them:

Clause 8
No widow is to be forced to marry while she wishes to live without a husband, as long as she promises that she will not marry without our consent.
Clause 39
No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
Clause 40
We will not sell, or deny, or delay right or justice to anyone.

Do you agree with the ideas of the people we spoke to? Share your thoughts with other learners on the course.

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Magna Carta

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