The legal profession is being encouraged to use the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta to educate young people UK-wide about the Charter's historical importance and relevance today.
Magna Carta is the foundation of freedom under the law and ever since King John agreed “The Great Charter” with his Barons in 1215, its principles have influenced constitutional thinking worldwide, and have served as the foundation of freedom for almost 2 billion people in over 100 countries.
A poll conducted in 2012 by the 800th Anniversary Committee found a lack of understanding of key facts about Magna Carta among young people. It found that only 60% of 18 to 24 year-olds had heard of Magna Carta, compared to 87% who were aware of the US Declaration of Independence.
On 29 October, the Master of the Rolls and chairman of the Magna Carta Trust, the Rt Hon Lord Dyson, launched the Junior Lawyers in Schools project as a key part of the Magna Carta 800th anniversary events. The project will connect schools with young lawyers to talk about why Magna Carta matters and how it impacts on our lives.
Lord Dyson voices his enthusiasm for the new project
Lord Dyson commented, "We know that most young people have heard of Magna Carta, but not enough feel they know what it is really about or understand how important it still is today. The 800th anniversary is a unique opportunity to educate a new generation about Magna Carta."
The project has been developed working closely with the Young Barrister’s Committee of the Bar Council, the Junior Law Division of the Law Society and CILEx.
The Magna Carta Junior Lawyers project is one of a range of activities being promoted and co-ordinated by the Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn more about Magna Carta.
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Visit the Magna Carta website for more details of the project.