The historic Magna Carta, the Great Charter, dates back to 1215. It serves as the foundation of the principles in English Law – later Common Law, which Singapore and the UK both share – that everyone, even the ruler, is subject to the law, and that everyone has certain rights that must be protected by the law. We in Singapore will get to see a rare copy of it when Hereford Cathedral’s copy of Magna Carta, just one of four copies from 1217 still in existence, goes on display at the Supreme Court from 19 to 23 November 2015. The document will be accompanied by the only surviving copy of the 1215 King’sWrit, a letter from King John to local authorities announcing the issuing of Magna Carta.
Brought to Singapore as part of a world tour of nine cities to mark the Magna Carta’s octocentenary, the stop in Singapore is also to mark the island nation’s golden jubilee, and to recognise Singapore’s status a legal hub. The other stops in the tour are New York, Luxembourg, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malta and Lisbon. The document is being conveyed by British Airways in its First Class flight and airport facilities. Sponsors for the exhibition in Singapore are UK law firm Clifford Chance and its local partner Cavenagh Law LLP.
The display of the Magna Carta in Singapore will be complemented by an accompanying exhibition that the Supreme Court of Singapore is holding, titled “Magna Carta and Us”. This accompanying exhibition will present a collage of historical footprints tracing the birth and development of the Singapore Constitution and the rule of law in Singapore to the Magna Carta.
Details for the exhibitions, which will be held at the Supreme Court Auditorium, will be as follows:
Date: 19 to 23 November 2015
Time: 8.30am to 8.00pm
Venue: Supreme Court, Auditorium Level B2, 1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore 178879
Admission: Free to all
Magna Carta Competition: My Great Charter
(run by the British High Commission)
Magna Carta is Latin for ‘Great Charter’. If you could issue a Great Charter of your own, what would put in it?
To enter our ‘Magna Contest’ tell us what rules you would put into your own Great Charter.
These could be both serious or humorous. For example:
Everyone must speak to their neighbours at least once a day.
In order to increase happiness, good food must be shared.
For the benefit of tired eyes, all people to stay in bed an extra hour on Mondays.
Selected entries will receive two cinema tickets to watch the new Star Wars Film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was filmed in the UK. To apply, please e-mail your rules for your own Great Charter to Competitions.Singapore@fco.gov.uk or message us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/UKinSG.
Useful Information related to the Magna Carta:
- Summary Story of the Global Tour
- History of Magna Carta and its 800th Anniversary
- Hereford Cathedral’s role in the Magna Carta and 800th Anniversary Global Tour
- Short and Informative Youtube Videos on Magna Carta produced by the British Library