What Is the Definition of "Magna Carta"?

"Magna carta" is a Latin term which literally translates as "great charter." The famous Magna Carta of 1215 was sealed by King John at Runnymede, England, on June 15 of that year.

The Magna Carta marked the birth of English constitutional law. It was the first document presented to an English king by his subjects in an attempt to limit his power and was conceived by English barons who feared King John's power and sought to codify and guarantee the rights of Englishmen. The Magna Carta states that no Englishman can be deprived of his life or property without the fair judgment of his equals and that no one can be put on trial without credible witnesses to support his arrest.