Magna Carta

We The People Common Law Grand Jury

is the Common Law inheritance of We The People

Magna Carta JUNE 15, A.D. 1215 Anno Domini Iesu Christi

MAGNA CARTA. CLAUSE 52. Title. DUTY OF THE GRAND JURY.


“If anyone’s unalienable rights have been violated, or removed, without a legal sentence of their (“We the People” Supreme Rulers, named) Peers, from their lands, home, liberties or lawful right, “We the People” Supreme Rulers [the twenty-five] shall straightway restore them. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this matter it shall be settled according to the judgment of “We the People” Supreme Rulers, [the twenty-five] Grand Jurors, the sureties of the peace.”  06/15/1215


MAGNA CARTA. CLAUSE 61. Title. CONSTITUTION OF COMMON LAW GRAND JURY


“We The People” having discord, which has arisen between (”One People” Supreme Ruler) Us, and our civil servants, (judges, justices, attorneys, clerks, elected civil and military officers, sheriffs, Deputies, congressman, congresswoman, state representatives, teachers) wishing to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to enjoy forever in its entirety. “We The People” may select at Our pleasure twenty-five “People” Supreme Rulers from the Sovereignty, (not elected public officials civil servants) who ought, with all their strength, to observe, maintain; and cause to be observed, the peace and unalienable rights. If any of our civil servants shall have transgressed against any of the “One People” Supreme Ruler in any respect and they shall ask (“We The People”) Us to cause that error to be amended without delay, or shall have broken some one of the articles of peace or security, and their transgression shall have been shown to four Jurors of the aforesaid twenty-five “People” Supreme Rulers from the Sovereignty, and if those four Jurors are unable to settle the transgression they shall come to the twenty-five, “People” Supreme Rulers from the Sovereignty, showing to the Grand Jury the error which shall be enforced by the law of the land. 06/15/1215


THE GREAT CHARTER OF ENGLISH LIBERTY DECREED BY KING JOHN AT RUNNY MEDE

Courtesy of Bill Thornton  https://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/magna.htm


From “Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages,”as translated from

“Stubb's Charters” by Ernest F. Henderson.


JOHN, by the grace of God, King of England, lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjuo: To the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, prevosts, serving men, and to all his bailiffs and faithful subjects, Greeting. Know that we, by the will of God and for the safety of our soul, and of the souls of all our predecessors and our heirs, to the honor of God and for the exaltation of the holy Church, and the bettering of our realm: by the counsel of our venerable fathers Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman church; of Henry archbishop of Dublin; of the bishops William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugo of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry and Benedict of Rochester; of master Pandulf, subdeacon and of the household of the lord pope; of brother Aymeric, master of the knights of the Temple in England; and of the nobel men, William Marshall earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galway constable of Scotland, Warin son of Gerold, Peter son of Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poictiers, Hugo de Neville, Matthew son of Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip d'Aubigni, Robert de Roppelay, John Marshall, John son of Hugo, and others of our faithful subjects:


1. First of all have granted to God, and, for us and for our heirs forever, have confirmed, by this our present charter, that the English church shall be free and shall have its rights intact and its liberties uninfringed upon. And thus we will that it be observed. As is apparent from the fact that we, spontaneously and of our own free will, before discord broke out between ourselves and our barons, did grant and by our charter confirm--and did cause the lord pope Innocent III, to confirm-- freedom of elections, which is considered most important and most necessary to the church of England. Which charter both we ourselves shall observe, and we will that it be observed with good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all free men of our realm, on the part of ourselves and our heirs forever, all the subjoined liberties, to have and to hold, to them and to their heirs, from us and from our heirs:


2. If any one of our earls or barons, or of others holding from us in chief through military service, shall die; and if, at the time of his death, his heir be of full age and owe a relief: he shall have his inheritance by paying the old relief;--the heir, namely, or the heirs of an earl, by paying one hundred pounds for the whole barony of an earl; the heir or heirs of a baron, by paying one hundred pounds for the whole barony; the heir or heirs of a knight, by paying one hundred shillings at most for a whole knight's fee; and he who shall owe less shall give less, according to the ancient custom of fees.


3. But if the heir of any of the above persons shall be under age and in wardship,--when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without relief and without fine.


4. The administrator of the land of such heir who shall be under age shall take none but reasonable issues from the land of the heir, and reasonable customs and services; and this without destruction and waste of men or goods. And if we shall have committed the custody of any such land to the sheriff or to any other man who ought to be responsible to us for the issues of it, and he cause destruction or waste to what is in his charge: we will fine him, and the land shall be handed over to two lawful and discreet men of that fee who shall answer to us, or to him to whom we shall have referred them, regarding those issues. And if we shall have given or sold to any one the custody of any such land, and he shall have caused destruction or waste to it,--he shall lose that custody, and it shall be given to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who likewise shall answer to us, as has been explained.


5. The administrator, moreover, so long as he may have the custody of the land, shall keep in order, from the issues of that land, the houses, parks, warrens, lakes, mills, and other things pertaining to it. And he shall restore to the heir when he comes to full age, his whole land stocked with ploughs and wainnages, according as the time of the wainnage requires and the issues of the land will reasonably permit.


6. Heirs may marry without disparagement; so, nevertheless, that, before the marriage is contracted, it shall be announced to the relations by blood of the heir himself.


7. A widow, after the death of her husband, shall straightway, and without difficulty, have her marriage portion and her inheritance, nor shall she give any thing in return for her dowry, her marriage portion, or the inheritance which belonged to her, and which she and her husband held on the day of the death of that husband. And she may remain in the house of her husband, after his death, for forty days; within which her dowry shall be paid over to her.


8. No widow shall be forced to marry when she prefers to live without a husband; so, however, that she gives security not to marry without our consent, if she hold from us, or the consent of the lord from whom she holds, if she hold from another.


9. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any revenue for any debt, so long as the chattels of the debtor suffice to pay the debt; nor shall the sponsors of that debtor be distrained so long as the chief debtor has enough to pay the debt. But if the chief debtor fail in paying the debt, not having the wherewithal to pay it, the sponsors shall answer for the debt. And, if they shall wish, they may have the lands and revenues of the debtor until satisfaction shall have been given them for the debt previously paid for him; unless the chief debtor shall show that he is quit in that respect towards those same sponsors.


10. If any one shall have taken any sum, great or small, as a loan from the money-lenders, and shall die before that debt is paid,--that debt shall not bear interest so long as the heir, from whomever he may hold, shall be under age. And if the debt fall into our hands, we shall take nothing save the chattel contained in the deed.


11. And if any one dies owing a debt to the money-lenders, his wife shall have her dowry, and shall restore nothing of that debt. But if there shall remain children of that dead man, and they shall be under age, the necessaries shall be provided for them according to the nature of the dead man's holding; and from the residue, the debt shall be paid, saving the service due to the lords. In like manner shall be done concerning debts that are due to others besides money-lenders.


12. No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our realm unless by the common counsel of our realm; except for redeeming our body, and knighting our eldest son, and marrying once our eldest daughter. And for these purposes there shall only be given a reasonable aid. In like manner shall be done concerning the aids of the city of London.


13. And the city of London shall have all its old liberties and free customs as well by land as by water. Moreover we will and grant that other cities and burroughs, and town and ports, shall have all their liberties and free customs.


14. And, in order to have the common counsel of the realm in the matter of assessing an aid otherwise than in the aforesaid cases, or of assessing a scutage--we shall cause, under seal through our letters, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned for a fixed day--for a term, namely, at least forty days distant,--and for a fixed place. And, moreover, we shall cause to be summoned in general, through our sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold of us in chief. And in all those letters of summons we shall express the cause of the summons. And when a summons has thus been made, the business shall be proceeded with on the day appointed according to the counsel of those who shall be present, even though not all shall come who were summoned.


15. We will not allow any one henceforth to take an aid from his freemen save for the redemption of his body, and the knighting of his eldest son, and the marrying, once, of his eldest daughter; and, for these purposes, there shall only be given a reasonable aid.


16. No one shall be forced to do more service for a knight's fee, or for another free holding, than is due from it.


17. Common pleas shall not follow our court but shall be held in a certain fixed place.


18. Assizes of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancestor, and of darrein presentment shall not be held save in their own counties, and in this way: We, or our chief justice, if we shall be absent from the kingdom, shall send two justices through each county four times a year; they, with four knights from each county, chosen by the county, shall hold the aforesaid assizes in the county, and on the day and at the place of the county court.


19. And if on the day of the county court the aforesaid assizes can not be held, a sufficient number of knights and free tenants, from those who were present at the county court on that day, shall remain, so that through them the judgments may be suitably given, according as the matter may have been great or small.


20. A freeman shall only be amerced for a small offence according to the measure of that offence. And for a great offence he shall be amerced according to the magnitude of the offence, saving his contenement; and a merchant, in the same way, saving his merchandize. And a villein, in the same way, if he fall under our mercy, shall be amerced saving his wainnage. And none of the aforesaid fines shall be imposed save upon oath of upright men from the neighbourhood.


21. Earls and barons shall not be amerced save through their peers, and only according to the measure of the offence.


22. No clerk shall be amerced for his lay tenement except according to the manner of the other persons aforesaid; and not according to the amount of his ecclesiastical benefice.


23. Neither a town nor a man shall be forced to make bridges over the rivers, with the exception of those who, from of old and of right ought to do it.


+24. No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other bailiffs of ours shall hold the pleas of our crown.


25. All counties, hundreds, wapentakes, and trithings--our demensne manors being excepted--shall continue according to the old farms, without any increase at all.


26. If any one holding from us a lay fee shall die, and our sheriff or bailiff can show our letters patent containing our summons for the debt which the dead man owed to us,--our sheriff or bailiff may be allowed to attach and enroll the chattels of the dead man to the value of that debt, through view of lawful men; in such way, however, that nothing shall be removed thence until the debt is paid which was plainly owed to us. And the residue shall be left to the executors that they may carry out the will of the dead man. And if nothing is owed to us by him, all the chattels shall go to the use prescribed by the deceased, saving their reasonable portions to his wife and children.


27. If any freeman shall have died intestate his chattels shall be distributed through the hands of his near relatives and friends, by view of the church; saving to any one the debts which the dead man owed him.


28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take the corn or other chattels of any one except he straightway give money for them, or can be allowed a respite in that regard by the will of the seller.


29. No constable shall force any knight to pay money for castleward if he be willing to perform that ward in person, or-- he for a reasonable cause not being able to perform it himself-- through another proper man. And if we shall have led or sent him on a military expedition, he shall be quit of ward according to the amount of time during which, through us, he shall have been in military service.


+30. No sheriff nor bailiff of ours, nor any one else, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport, unless by the will of that freeman.


31. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take another's wood for castles or for other private uses, unless by the will of him to whom the wood belongs.

32. We shall not hold the lands of those convicted of felony longer than a year and a day; and then the lands shall be restored to the lords of the fiefs.


33. Henceforth all the weirs in the Thames and Medway, and throughout all England, save on the sea-coasts, shall be done away with entirely.


+34. Henceforth the writ which is called Praecipe shall not be served on any one for any holding so as to cause a free man to lose his court.


35. There shall be one measure of wine throughout our whole realm, and one measure of ale and one measure of corn--namely, the London quart;--and one width of dyed and resset and hauberk cloths--namely, two ells below the selvage. And with weights, moreover, it shall be as with measures.


+36. Henceforth nothing shall be given or taken for a writ of inquest in a matter concerning life or limb; but it shall be conceded gratis, and shall not be denied.


37. If any one hold of us in fee-farm, or in socage, or in burkage, and hold land of another by military service, we shall not, by reason of that fee-farm, or socage, or burkage, have the wardship of his heir or of his land which is held in fee from another. Nor shall we have the wardship of that fee-farm, or socage, or burkage unless that fee-farm owe military service. We shall not, by reason of some petit-serjeanty which some one holds of us through the service of giving us knives or arrows or the like, have the wardship of his heir or of the land which he holds of another by military service.


+38. No bailiff, on his own simple assertion, shall henceforth put any one to his law, without producing faithful witnesses in evidence.


+39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed--nor will we go upon or send upon him--save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.


+40. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.


41. All merchants may safely and securely go out of England, and come into England, and delay and pass through England, as well by land as by water, for the purpose of buying and selling, free from all evil taxes, subject to the ancient and right customs--save in time of war, and if they are of the land at war against us. And if such be found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be held, without harm to their bodies and goods, until it shall be known to us or our chief justice how the merchants of our land are to be treated who shall, at that time, be found in the land at war against us. And if ours shall be safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.


42. Henceforth any person, saving fealty to us, may go out of our realm and return to it, safely and securely, by land and by water, except perhaps for a brief period in time of war, for the common good of the realm. But prisoners and outlaws are excepted according to the law of the realm; also people of a land at war against us, and the merchants, with regard to whom shall be done as we have said.


43. If any one hold from any escheat--as from the honour of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boloin, Lancaster, or the other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies--and shall die, his heir shall not give another relief, nor shall he perform for us other service than he would perform for a baron if that barony were in the hand of a baron; and we shall hold it in the same way in which the baron has held it.


44. Persons dwelling without the forest shall not henceforth come before the forest justices, through common summonses, unless they are impleaded or are the sponsors of some person or persons attached for matters concerning the forest.


+45. We will not make men justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, unless they are such as know the law of the realm, and are minded to observe it rightly.


46. All barons who have founded abbeys for which they have charters of the kings of England, or ancient right of tenure, shall have, as they ought to have, their custody when vacant.


47. All forests constituted as such in our time shall straightway be annulled; and the same shall be done for river banks made into places of defense by us in our time.


48. All evil customs concerning forests and warrens, and concerning foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their servants, river banks and their guardians, shall straightway be inquired into in each county, through twelve sworn knights from that county, and shall be eradicated by them, entirely, so that they shall never be renewed, within forty days after the inquest has been made; in such manner that we shall first know about them, or our justice if we be not in England.


49. We shall straightway return all hostages and charters which were delivered to us by Englishmen as a surety for peace or faithful service.


50. We shall entirely remove from their bailiwicks the relatives of Gerard de Athyes, so that they shall henceforth have no bailwick in England: Engelard de Cygnes, Andrew Peter and Gyon de Chanceles, Gyon de Cygnes, Geoffrey de Martin and his brothers, Philip Mark and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew, and the whole following of them.


51. And straightway after peace is restored we shall remove from the realm all the foreign soldiers, crossbowmen, servants, hirelings, who may have come with horses and arms to the harm of the realm.


+52. If anyone shall have been disseized by us, or removed, without a legal sentence of his peers, from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right, we shall straightway restore them to him. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this matter it shall be settled according to the judgment of the twenty-five barons who are mentioned below as sureties for the peace. But with regard to all those things of which any one was, by king Henry our father or king Richard our brother, disseized or dispossessed without legal judgement of his peers, which we have in our hand or which others hold, and for which we ought to give a guarantee: We shall have respite until the common term for crusaders. Except with regard to those concerning which a plea was moved, or an inquest made by our order, before we took the cross. But when we return from our pilgrimage, or if, by chance, we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway then show full justice regarding them.


53. We shall have the same respite, moreover, and in the same manner, in the matter of showing justice with regard to forests to be annulled and forests to remain, which Henry our father or Richard our brother constituted; and in the matter of wardships of lands which belong to the fee of another--wardships of which kind we have hitherto enjoyed by reason of the fee which some one held from us in military service;--and in the matter of abbeys founded in the fee of another than ourselves--in which the lord of the fee may say that he has jurisdiction. And when we return, or if we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway exhibit full justice to those complaining with regard to these matters.


54. No one shall be taken or imprisoned on account of the appeal of a woman concerning the death of another than her husband.


+55. All fines imposed by us unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, and all amerciaments made unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, shall be altogether remitted, or it shall be done with regard to them according to the judgment of the twenty five barons mentioned below as sureties for the peace, or according to the judgment of the majority of them together with the aforesaid Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and with others whom he may wish to associate with himself for this purpose. And if he can not be present, the affair shall nevertheless proceed without him; in such way that, if one or more of the said twenty five barons shall be concerned in a similar complaint, they shall be removed as to this particular decision, and in their place, for this purpose alone, others shall be substituted who shall be chosen and sworn by the remainder of those twenty five.


56. If we have disseized or dispossessed Welshmen of their lands or liberties or other things without legal judgment of their peers, in England or in Wales,--they shall straightway be restored to them. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this, then action shall be taken upon it in the March through judgment of their peers--concerning English holdings according to the law of England, concerning Welsh holdings according to the law of Wales, concerning holdings in the March according to the law of the March. The Welsh shall do likewise with regard to us and our subjects.


57. But with regard to all those things of which any one of the Welsh was, by king Henry our father or king Richard our brother, disseized or dispossessed without legal judgment of his peers, which we have in our hand or which others hold, and for which we ought to give a guarantee: we shall have respite until the common term for crusaders. Except with regard to those concerning which a plea was moved, or an inquest made by our order, before we took the cross. But when we return from our pilgrimage, or if, by chance, we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway then show full justice regarding them, according to the laws of Wales and the aforesaid districts.


58. We shall straightway return the son of Llewelin and all the Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as surety for the peace.


59. We shall act towards Alexander king of the Scots regarding the restoration of his sisters, and his hostages, and his liberties and his lawful right, as we shall act towards our other barons of England; unless it ought to be otherwise according to the charters which we hold from William, his father, the former king of the Scots. And this shall be done through judgment of his peers in our court.


60. Moreover all the subjects of our realm, clergy as well as laity, shall, as far as pertains to them, observe, with regard to their vassals, all these aforesaid customs and liberties which we have decreed shall, as far as pertains to us, be observed in our realm with regard to our own.


+61. Inasmuch as for the sake of God, and for the bettering of our realm, and for the more ready healing of the discord which has arisen between us and our barons, we have made all these aforesaid concessions,--wishing them to enjoy for ever entire and firm stability, we make and grant to them the following security: that the barons, namely, may elect at their pleasure twenty five barons from the realm, who ought, with all their strength, to observe, maintain and cause to be observed, the peace and privileges which we have granted to them and confirmed by this our present charter. In such wise, namely, that if we, our justice, or our bailiffs, or any one of our servants shall have transgressed against any one in any respect, or shall have broken some one of the articles of peace or security, and our transgression shall have been shown to four barons of the aforesaid twenty five: those four barons shall come to us, or, if we are abroad, to our justice, showing to us our error; and they shall ask us to cause that error to be amended without delay. And if we do not amend that error, or, we being abroad, if our justice do not amend it within a term of forty days from the time when it was shown to us or, we being abroad, to our justice: the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the remainder of the twenty five barons, and those twenty five barons, with the whole land in common, shall distrain and oppress us in every way in their power,--namely, by taking our castles, lands and possessions, and in every other way that they can, until amends shall have been made according to their judgment. Saving the persons of ourselves, our queen and our children. And when amends shall have been made they shall be in accord with us as they had been previously. And whoever of the land wishes to do so, shall swear that in carrying out all the aforesaid measures he will obey the mandates of the aforesaid twenty five barons, and that, with them, he will oppress us to the extent of his power. And, to any one who wishes to do so, we publicly and freely give permission to swear; and we will never prevent any one from swearing. Moreover, all those in the land who shall be unwilling, themselves and of their own accord, to swear to the twenty five barons as to distraining and oppressing us with them: such ones we shall make to swear by our mandate, as has been said. And if any one of the twenty five barons shall die, or leave the country, or in any other way be prevented from carrying out the aforesaid measures,--the remainder of the aforesaid twenty five barons shall choose another in his place, according to their judgment, who shall be sworn in the same way as the others. Moreover, in all things entrusted to those twenty five barons to be carried out, if those twenty five shall be present and chance to disagree among themselves with regard to some matter, or if some of them, having been summoned, shall be unwilling or unable to be present: that which the majority of those present shall decide or decree shall be considered binding and valid, just as if all the twenty five had consented to it. And the aforesaid twenty five shall swear that they will faithfully observe all the foregoing, and will cause them to be observed to the extent of their power. And we shall obtain nothing from any one, either through ourselves or through another, by which any of those concessions and liberties may be revoked or diminished. And if any such thing shall have been obtained, it shall be vain and invalid, and we shall never make use of it either through ourselves or through another.


62. And we have fully remitted to all, and pardoned, all the ill-will, anger and rancour which have arisen between us and our subjects, clergy and laity, from the time of the struggle. Moreover we have fully remitted to all, clergy and laity, and--as far as pertains to us--have pardoned fully all the transgressions committed, on the occasion of that same struggle, from Easter of the sixteenth year of our reign until the re-establishment of peace. In witness of which moreover, we have caused to be drawn up for them letters patent of lord Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, lord Henry, archbishop of Dublin, and the aforesaid bishops and master Pandulf, regarding that surety and the aforesaid concessions.


63. Wherefore we will and firmly decree that the English church shall be free, and that the subjects of our realm shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, duly and in peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all matters and in all places, forever, as has been said. Moreover it has been sworn, on our part as well as on the part of the barons, that all these above mentioned provisions shall be observed with good faith and without evil intent. The witnesses being the above mentioned and many others. Given through our hand, in the plain called Runnimede between Windsor and Stanes, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.



* King John's accession was on May 27, 1199, and he reigned for 18 years. Magna Carta was signed June 15, 1215 (17th year of his reign).


Henry III's ascension was October 28, 1216. He reigned for 57 years. The Charter of the Forest was issued in 1217 as a supplement to Magna Carta. It was confirmed by him in 1225. Some of the provisions omitted in the reissues of Magna Carta which relate to forest matters appeared in the Charter of the Forest.


Edward I's ascension was on November 20, 1272. He reigned for 35 years and reaffirmed Magna Carta October 10, 1297 (25th year of his reign)


"+" Article numbers marked with a "+" are recommended for beginning students of the Magna Carta. They deal with individual rights. Study the entire Magna Carta, but get as thorough an understanding as you can of the "+" marked Articles.

Go to Magna Carta Interpretation

MORE LAW NOTES


NOTE: The following rules only apply to a republic such as the USA.

For a monarchy such as Great Britain substitute the word "baron" for "people",

and substitute the word "subject" for "citizen".

Also, in the USA, a peer is one of the people (not citizens).

In Great Britain, a peer is one of the nobility.

This website last updated May 18, 2009.


Common Law Grand Jury

Rules


APPLICABLE LAW


The government must accept the Magna Carta as common law if pleaded as such.


Source: Confirmatio Cartarum, Article 1


EDWARD, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Guian[27], to all those that these present letters shall hear or see, greeting. Know ye that we, to the honour of God and of Holy Church, and to the profit of our realm, have granted for us and our heirs, that the Charter of liberties, and the Charter of the forest[28], which were made by common assent of all the realm, in the time of King HENRY our father, shall be kept in every point without breach.

(2) And we will that the same charters shall be sent under our seal, as well to our justices of the forest, as to others, and to all sheriffs of shires, and to all our other officers, and to all our cities throughout the realm, together with our writs, in the which it shall be contained, that they cause the foresaid charters to be published, and to declare to the people that we have confirmed them in all points; (3) and that our justices, sheriffs, mayors, and other ministers, which under us have the laws of our land to guide, shall allow the said charters pleaded before them in judgement in all their points, that is to wit, the Great Charter as the common law[*] and the Charter of the forest, for the wealth of our realm.


2. AND we will, That if any judgement be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the charters aforesaid by the justices, or by any other our ministers that hold plea before them against the points of the charters, it shall be undone, and holden for nought.


3. AND we will, That the same charters shall be sent, under our seal, to cathedral churches throughout our realm, there to remain, and shall be read before the people two times by the year.


4. AND that all archbishops and bishops shall pronounce the sentence of excommunication against all those that by word, deed, or counsel do contrary to the foresaid charters, or that in any point break or undo them. (2) and that the said curses be twice a year denounced and published by the prelates aforesaid. (3) And if the said prelates, or any of them, be remiss in the denunciation of the said sentences, the archbishops of Canterbury and York for the time being shall compel and distrein them to the execution of their duties in form aforesaid.


5. AND for so much as divers people of our realm are in fear that the aids and tasks[29] which they have given to us beforetime towards our wars and other business, of their own grant and good will (howsoever they were made) might turn to a bondage to them and their heirs, because they might be at another time found in the rolls, and likewise for the prises taken throughout the realm by our ministers: (2) We have granted for us and our heirs, that we shall not draw such aids, tasks, nor prises into a custom, for any thing that hath been done heretofore, be it by roll or any other precedent that may be founden.


6. Moreover we have granted for us and our heirs, as well to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and other folk of holy church, as also to earls, barons, and to all the communalty of the land, that for no business from henceforth we shall take such manner of aids, tasks, nor prises, but by the common assent of the realm, and for the common profit thereof, saving the ancient aids, and prises due and accustomed.


7. AND for so much as the more part of the communalty of the realm find themselves sore grieved with the maletent of wools, that is to wit, a toll of forty shillings for every sack of wool, and have made petition to us to release the same; We at their requests have yearly released it, and have for granted us and our heirs, that we shall not take such things without their common assent and good will, saving to us and our heirs the custom of wools, skins, and leather, granted before by the communalty aforesaid. In witness of which things we have caused these our letters to be made patents.


Witness EDWARD our son at London the tenth day of October, the five and twentieth year of our reign.


NOTES


[*] This reaffirms that the Magna Carta may be pleaded as the Common Law before a court.



[26] 25 Edw. i, c. i. Danby Pickering (ed.), Statutes at Large (Cambridge, 1726-1807), I, 273-75.

[27] Aquitaine, the territory in southwestern France.

[28] The Charter of the Forest was issued in 1217, early in the reign of Henry III, as a supplement to Magna Carta. It was confirmed by him in 1225. Some of the provisions omitted in the reissues of Magna Carta which relate to forest matters appeared in the Charter of the Forest.

[29] "Aids," "tasks," and "prises" were forms of taxation.


www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/cartarum.htm


Basic requirements and procedures for a common law grand jury:

ource: Magna Carta, Articles 52 & 61

www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/magna.htm#52

www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/magna.htm#61


HOW CONSTITUTED


Grand jury members must be elected by the people (not citizens) of the jurisdiction in which they are operating.


There are no rules defining a procedure for how they are elected. The people, without the influence of government, decide for themselves how the grand jury members are elected.


There must be 25 members.


QUALIFICATIONS


The members must be “people” of the jurisdiction and not “citizens” of the jurisdiction.


For example, they must be “People of the United States,” or “People of California,” or “People of the State of California”; not “citizen of the United States,” nor “citizen of California,” nor “citizen of the State of California.”

www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/pvc.htm

http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/sovreign.htm


Each member must be sworn in and promise to observe all of these rules and, so far as within his power, cause all the rules to be observed.


QUORUM


When the grand jury meets, if any are absent after being summoned, then those present constitute a quorum.


All decisions of grand jury are decided by majority vote of members present.


If any member dies or leaves the country, or in any other way is prevented from carrying out the grand jury's decisions, the remaining grand jurors shall choose another to fill his place and he shall likewise be sworn in.


FINALITY OF DECISIONS


No decision of a grand jury is reviewable in any court of the government.


JURISDICTION


Any government transgression against anyone in any respect.


Any government breaking of articles of peace or security.


Any dispute regarding anyone who has been diseased or removed, by the government without a legal sentence of his peers, from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right.


PROCEDURE I

Dispute Settlement


If the grand jury is informed of any dispute regarding anyone who has been diseased or removed (by the government without a legal sentence of his peers) from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right. Then the dispute shall be settled by the grand jury.


PROCEDURE II

Enforcement


Four of the members must be shown that because of the government,

      A. A transgression has occurred against any one in any respect, or

      B. Some one of the articles of peace or security has been broken


The four members must show to the government the government's error.


The four members must ask the government to amend that error without delay.


If the government does not amend the error within 40 days after being shown the error, then the four members shall refer the matter to the remainder of the grand jury.


The grand jury may distrain and oppress the government in every way in their power, namely, by taking the homes, lands, possessions, and any way else they can until amends shall have been made according to the sole judgment of the grand jury.


LIMITATION OF POWERS


The grand jury may not imprison or execute any government personnel or their children.


PUBLIC SUPPORT


Anyone (people or citizen) who chooses to help enforce the grand jury decision must first swear that he will obey the mandates of the grand jury, and that with them to the extent of his power he will impose the grand jury's decisions upon the government.


The authority to support the grand jury is pre-authorized by the government.


If anyone refuses to support a grand jury decision, the government will force him to swear his support of the grand jury.


LIMITATIONS ON GOVERNMENT


The government is prohibited from doing anything to diminish the effect of the grand jury.


If the government does prohibit or diminish the effectiveness of the grand jury, it shall be vain and invalid and may not be used in any later proceeding by the government or anyone else.


TERMINATION OF ENFORCEMENT


When all issues are settled to the satisfaction of the grand jury, things shall return to normal as they were before. No grudges. 


Reactivating the Common Law Grand Jury

A Brief Strategy Suggestion 


BACKGROUND


When the colonies separated from England, King John retaliated by revoking the charters. Technically, the colonies were without any legal authority to operate. However, civics (the branch of political philosophy concerned with individual rights) was generally taught and known by the people who asserted their rights and maintained order by applying the common law. The people united in the form of common law grand juries and continued the functioning of government.


As the legislatures matured they slowly increased governmental power while simultaneously reducing personal sovereign power. This was done through a combination of passing pro-government legislation and reducing or eliminating education about civics. Today, two and a quarter centuries later, hardly anyone even knows the meaning of the word, "civics."


Despite the fact that the state and federal constitutions still acknowledge the common law as the ultimate law system, people everywhere are conditioned to believe that the statutory law and codes are the only source of law. The only remaining common law term generally known among the public is "common law marriage."


The common law grand jury is now dormant only because of the public ignorance of its powers that supercede all other government entities, including the modern statutorily defined grand jury. Awakening the grand jury will not be graciously accepted by the government. A strategy is needed to reintroduce this fundamental protection against tyranny and injustice.


STEP 1 - ESTABLISH LEGITIMACY


The first step is to get public acceptance. Every dictator in history understood the power of the people and cultivated their support either through enticements or threats. Reactivating the grand jury concept will go through four traditional stages: denial, ridicule, violent opposition, then self-evident acceptance.


Theoretically, the grand jury can meet anywhere, anytime. But that is hardly good image. One way to get public acceptance and minimize denial, ridicule, and violent opposition, is to hold the grand jury sessions in the public court house. The foreman could apply to a court administrator for use of one of the rooms in the public courthouse. If it is refused, then the court administrator should, under common law procedures, be sued for his dereliction of duty.


The grand jury should follow normal protocol. In other words, if the grand jury begins a process on its own, the resulting accusation is called a presentment. If a prosecutor orginates a process, then the jury returns to the prosecutor an indictment (also called a "true bill") on acceptance, or a "no bill" on denial. [Note: be careful with your words. wrong words may result in inaction! If you call the presentment an indictment, the prosecutor may feel no obligation because he did not initiate the process!]


STEP 2 - GAIN PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE


The second step is to start small. The grand jury could take on issues which anyone can easily see should be prosecuted. As public acceptance increases, the grand jury can enlarge its field of inquiry. The grand jury should have a strong public relations program for this step.


STEP 3 - TAKE ON LARGER PROJECTS


The third step is to take on grander objectives. If the first two steps are well executed, then this step will be the easiest. With both legitimacy and acceptance established the grand jury can make itself felt.


See United States v. Williams, 112 S.Ct. 1735, 504 U.S. 36, 118 L.Ed.2d 352 (1992) for a discussion of separation of powers of government and grand jury.


https://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/grandjuryrules.htm


Thank you very much to Bill Thornton