The Magna Carta originated with a royal charter granted by King John of England in 1215. It has subsequently been reissued, revised and/or confirmed many times, most significantly by Henry III in 1225. In 1297, it was confirmed in Parliament by Edward I and placed on the Statute Roll.
The principles of English law are derived from clause 39* of the original charter which provides that all power comes from the law and that no man is above it (commonly referred to as the Rule of Law). After Henry III's revision in 1225, as confirmed in 1297, this clause became "chapter" 29. "Cap. 29" is considered the proper reference and should be used in all citations.
[*Note: Numbering is by convention. In the charter itself, the clauses are not numbered and the text reads continuously.]
It is published in both Latin and English in Magna Carta, 2d ed., by J.C. Holt.
The Magna Carta, 1215, is printed in the Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1911, vol. 4 [1982 reprint].
This volume contains the original 1215 version translated from Latin and also provides brief explanatory notes on reissues.
The reissue of 1225, The Magna Carta, 9 Hen. 3 , is published in the Statutes at Large, vol. 1.
- Magna Carta by J.C. Holt – on-site at Vancouver Courthouse Library
- Statutes of British Columbia – on-site at Courthouse Libraries
- The statutes at large from Magna Charta to the end of the last parliament, 1761 – on-site at Victoria Courthouse Library
- The statutes at large from the Magna Charta to the end of the 11th Parliament of Great Britain, anno 1761 – on-site at Vancouver Courthouse Library
- Magna Carta and its influence in the world today by Sir Ivor Jennings – on-site at Vancouver Courthouse Library