Magna Carta Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Magna Carta.

Magna Carta (noun) - The Magna Carta refers to a historic document signed by King John of England in 1215. This document, whose name translates from Latin to "great charter," set in place a series of laws to maintain the rights of significant landowners and barons, therefore restraining the King's power. Over time, the term Magna Carta has also come to refer broadly to any written rights granted to citizens. It serves as a foundational element of the English legal system and has been critical to shaping individual rights, despite England not having a written constitution.