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June 01, 2015

Lawyers gather in England to celebrate Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary

In celebration of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta, ABA President William C. Hubbard led a rededication ceremony June 15 at the ABA memorial that was erected in 1957 at Runnymede, England.

Magna Carta, sealed in 1215 by King John of England in response to a barons’ rebellion, spelled out principles that have served as the basis for modern democracies and the rule of law.  The ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries, including members of the royal family.

“We return to Runnymede today because the principles of Magna Carta define, and must continue to define, who we are and who we must be if we are to have justice and if we are to have peace in our world,” Hubbard said.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, also speaking at the event, said, “Today, we not only pay tribute to the source of our legal doctrines  – we reaffirm our devotion to its values and recommit ourselves to the service of its most treasured ideals.”

Princess Anne thanked the ABA for honoring the site of the sealing of Magna Carta. “The values gleaned from Magna Carta provide us with one of our most basic doctrines: that no person is above the law,” she said. “It is imperative that we convey the principles of Magna Carta to all people.” 

The ABA London Sessions, held June 11-15, featured numerous continuing legal education programs on various topics, including tort liability, electronic information for litigation, legal ethics, regulations of insider training and market abuse, and global corporations and the rule of law.


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