18 June 2015
The importance of the Magna Carta to the Treaty of Waitangi acknowledged
A lecture commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 175th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi
will be hosted later this month by the National Library and Victoria University of Wellington. Presented by Dr Carwyn
Jones, the lecture is entitled Magna Carta, Human Rights, and the Treaty of Waitangi in 21st Century New Zealand.
The 800 year old sheet of parchment that is the Magna Carta is often hailed as one of the world’s most famous historical
documents and still plays an important role in the recognition and protection of human rights in New Zealand.
The lecture is part of a series on conflict and is based on the only clause from the 1297 restatement of Magna Carta
that remains on the New Zealand statute books.
The clause concludes with the statement ‘we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right’ and reflects the
principle that everyone is protected by the law and that no one and no intuition is about the law.
Public Programmes Manager for the National Library, Peter Rowland, says “This will be an exciting, and fascinating
lecture. Magna Carta has had such a significant impact on the language of modern human rights and The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. It has also had a significant impact on our understanding and application of human rights
both internationally and in New Zealand.
“What is interesting is that only four copies of the 1215 version remain today. It is vital to remember the importance
of the document not for what it was but rather for what it was made to be”, says Mr Rowland.
Dr Carwyn Jones has done extensive research in issues that relate to the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous legal
traditions. He has a PhD from the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
Venue: National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Time: Tuesday 23 June 5.30pm – 6.45pm