First Fundamental Rights Documents: Commemorating 800 Years of Magna Carta

Markku Suksi (Editor), Kalliope Agapiou-Josephides (Editor), Jean-Paul Lehners (Editor), Manfred Nowak (Editor)

    Research output: Book/Journal/ReportEdited Book/Edited JournalScientificpeer-review


    With the spotlight on Magna Carta, which is 800 years  old in 2015, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, which together are of undeniable importance for fundamental rights thinking, the existence of similar fundamental rightrs documents in other European countries is often overlooked. Such fundamental rights documents did, however, exist in the precursors to the current European Union Member States. Some of the documents are ancient, even older than Magna Carta, and some are more recent, but all of them are texts that deserve to be brought out and analysed alongside Magna Carta and the French Declaration in order to better understand the evolution of fundamental rights thinking in Europe. This volume paints a multi-faceted picture of historical fundamental rights documents in the European space by collating the experience of twenty-four European Union Member States at times in history when most of these states did not even exist. It is the first comprehensive and systematic evaluation of early fundamental rights thinking across Europe and it reveals surprising diversity. Spanning documents from the fifth century BC right through the nineteenth and early twentieth century AD, this review opens up themes not normally found in historiographical analyses of fundamental rights.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78068-360-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeC2 Edited work


    • European Union
    • fundamental rights
    • legal history

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