This concept has two meanings. On the one hand, there is talk of the Magna Carta as synonymous with the Constitution . On the other hand, it makes references to the Magna Carta proclaimed in England in the Middle Ages.
The Constitutional Text of a Nation
The Magna Carta or Constitution is a normative text that presents the general provisions for organizing life in society and the functioning of the state . Thus, it is a general legal framework that should guide the set of laws of a nation. At the same time, this type of document must be a result of consensus, as the aim is to unite a nation.
Generally, throughout the Magna Carta, the fundamental rights of individuals, the organization of the State and its competences, as well as legal mechanisms to limit the exercise of power are included.
Every Magna Carta is created by a constituent power, that is, a group of politicians who aim to elaborate a Constitution that, once approved, loses its functions. With regard to its content, it depends on each nation.
However, most constitutional texts are inspired by the Declaration of Human and Citizen ‘s Rights elaborated during the process of the French Revolution of 1789. In this document, the bases for the so-called separation of powers were established.
In 1215, the Magna Carta was proclaimed in England
In the times of the monarch João Sem Terra, brother of Ricardo Coração de Leão, this historic document was approved. When the king came to power, he antagonized the nobility over territorial issues and, at the same time, caused popular discontent due to the high taxes approved. This situation made the nobles push a new legal framework to resolve the malaise.
The English nobles approved a new order through the so-called Magna Carta. In it there were a series of privileges for the nobility with the objective that the king would not harm them.
On the other hand, the Magna Carta introduced habeas corpus as a legal figure designed to limit the power of the king, on the other hand, it was a legal mechanism to ensure a fair trial for any citizen (the habeas corpus embodied in the Magna Carta is considered a guarantee for the presumption of innocence).
From the point of view of the history of Constitutionalism, the English Magna Carta is considered a fundamental document to understand the origin of legal texts in the Anglo-Saxon world.