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British Pavilion

Liberty and The Rule of Law  |  The British cultural pavilion

Liberty and The Rule of Law

The Common Laws of England


If it left England the sole country in Europe where liberty could progress by natural gradations, that was due, no doubt, largely to the strong qualities of the people but still more to its fortunate history and insular circumstances

Sri Aurobindo
The Human Cycle

 

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disposed or outlawed or banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, except by the legal judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell, to no one will we deny, or delay, right or justice.

Magna Carta, 1215

 

It is one of the characteristic marks of English liberty that our common law depends on custom; which carries this internal evidence of freedom and along with it, that it was probably introduced by voluntary consent of the people.

Sir William Blackstone
Commentaries on the laws of England , 1765-9

 

The jury system has come to stand for all we mean by English justice, because so long as a case has o be scrutinised by twelve honest men defended and plaintiff alike have a safeguard from arbitrary pervasion of the law. It is this which distinguishes the law administered in English courts from Continental legal systems based on Roman law. Thus amidst the great process of centralisation (during the reign of Henry 11) the old principle was preserved and endures to this day, that law flows from the people, and is not given by the King.

Winston Churchill
A History of the English Speaking Peoples

 

Law in our society and the legal framework, built upon and improved throughout the centuries by Britain , and adopted by other countries such as Canada , has preserved our freedom as individuals. The administration of a system of law by independent judiciary which is seen to establish equality of all before the law is the means by which our democratic way of life can exist and be preserved.

HRH Prince Charles
From a speech given to the University of Alberta, Canada

 

  

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