Here might be a workable way to look at academia: That which academics dismiss is probably worth exploring. “There is quite a list of academics who question the importance of the Magna Carta,” University of Chicago law professor Richard Helmholz pointed out in a lecture at the Cato Institute on June 4, 2015. “They dismiss it as baronial and backward looking, an immediate failure and talk about the myth of the Magna Carta.”
“I don’t think that view is correct.”
Certainly, the sections of the Magna Carta he supplied to accompany his talk hold up well in translation:
- No unlawful imprisonment
- Religious freedom
- Punishment that fits the crime.
Moreover, in many ways, Magna Carta was remarkably forward looking for a medieval document. “No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she prefers to live without a husband; provided always that she gives security not to marry without our consent, if she holds of us, or without the consent of the lord of who she holds, if she holds another,” Chapter Eight of the Magna Carta reads.
“Magna Carta was a municipal law in harmony with national law and stemming from the law of nature and the law of God,” Professor Helmholz pointed out at Cato.