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Magna Carta 1215-2015: 800 Years Celebrating the Foundation of Liberty

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Professor Bob Milton Attended the 800th Anniversary Ceremony of the Magna Carta—Read His Story About This Momentous Occasion.

MAGNA CARTA 1215 - 2015
800 Years Celebrating the Foundation of Liberty

Professor Robert Milton at RunnymedeOn June 15th, 2015 Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family, the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the US Attorney General, and the US London Ambassador gathered together in a meadow at Runnymede to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. I was honoured to be one of 4000 guests invited to be part of the celebrations that included speeches, music and a specially commissioned work of art by Hew Locke called ‘The Jurors.’
Amid the tranquil beauty of Runnymede, I stood at the riverside and could not help but reflect that on this exact spot the worldwide struggle for human rights began here on the 15th of June in 1215. It still continues today.
The Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in human history, laying down the rights to freedom, privacy and a fair trial for everyone, regardless of wealth, status or creed. In 2015, it is the foundation of the right to liberty enjoyed by nearly two billion people in more than 100 countries.
Nowhere is the legacy of Magna Carta more strongly felt than in the United States where it impacted the country’s constitutional development, including the Declaration of Independence. As part of the festivities, representatives of the American Bar Association travelled to Runnymede to witness the rededication of the American memorial to liberty by the Princess Royal.
My work in law enforcement and counter-terrorism—helping to protect the UK and other countries from the threat of violent extremism—is firmly rooted in the principals of Magna Carta. All my international training programs, including courses for the American Women’s College Online, have human rights as a constant theme. Balancing the preservation of those rights with the need to protect our people from terrorism is a challenge to all involved in criminal justice, security and intelligence. At the event, I was reminded that the principals of Magna Carta are as important now, perhaps even more so, as they were 800 years ago in that meadow at Runnymede.
Professor Bob Milton
Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice & Lead Faculty for Counter Terrorism
The American Women’s College Online @ Bay Path University

To learn more about the Magna Carta and how it has influenced America over time, from the Declaration of Independence to the Simpsons to Jay-Z, visit these sites:

British Library: Magna Carta

The New Yorker: The Rule of History