World news story

Celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta in Kampala

High Commissioner writes editorial in Ugandan press, part of a programme of events marking the anniversary

HE Alison Blackburne's op-ed article in the New Vision newspaper of 15 June 2015.

It is exactly 800 years since King John sealed Magna Carta – or “the Great Charter” – at Runnymede on 15 June 1215, a ground-breaking document that would change the world. Many ideas which we take for granted today, such as the limits of executive power, guaranteed access to justice, the rule of law, and no imprisonment without trial, first found their voice in Magna Carta.

Magna Carta Corner
The 'Magna Carta' corner at the 2015 Queen's Birthday Party in Kampala.

To mark this momentous anniversary, British High Commissioner HE Alison Blackburne has written an editorial entitled “Magna Carta: an 800-year legacy of human rights and rule of law”. This was published today in the leading “New Vision” daily newspaper in Uganda. In her editorial, the High Commissioner noted that “Magna Carta’s core principles are … echoed in constitutional documents around the world, including … the constitutions of many Commonwealth countries, including Uganda, where the protection of personal liberty and the right to a fair hearing are firmly embedded within Chapter Four of the Constitution of the Republic.”

The publication of the High Commissioner’s editorial was the latest in a series of events that the High Commission has organised this year to promote the themes of Magna Carta in Uganda. These have included a UK election results breakfast on 8 May and our Queen’s Birthday Party on 11 June, which included a “Magna Carta Corner” and reflections on the significance of the Great Charter in the High Commissioner’s speech.

Post-UK Election breakfast
HE Alison Blackburne engages with politicians and civil society leaders at the UK election results breakfast she hosted at her residence on 8 May.

In the UK, the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have been participating in national events to celebrate the anniversary. Find more information, photographs and video on our Facebook page.

Published 15 June 2015