Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebrations begin

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Celebrations leading up to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015 have got under way.

Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke will address a public launch at a memorial site in Runnymede, Surrey, where King John sealed the document in 1215.

Exhibitions of the charter of rights are planned in the UK and Commonwealth.

The Magna Carta Trust is also campaigning for a national holiday and a commemorative stamp and coin.

The trust is aiming to make people more aware of the legal, political and constitutional importance of the document, which has World Heritage status.

The original set of rulings, stemming from a row between King John and English barons, still has some resonance in modern-day English law - it helped clarify the right of trial by jury, for example.

The document also has relevance further afield. It was much studied in the US prior to that nation's fight for independence from Britain....

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