Transparency 4: June 15 of 1215
795 years ago, John of England signed the Magna Carta, which establish, for the first time, a fundamental constitutional principle, the legality principle, by limiting at the same time the power of the state.
The importance of this document has been controversial among historians, as some of them consider it as the base of the citizen liberties, others consider it a step back to the ancient liberties, conceded by Henry I on the day of his coronation (August 5th 1100), by compromising not to charge illegal feudal taxes.
Be that as it may, the Magna Carta initiates the recognition of the individual liberties against the interventionism, and represents the beginning of a new transparency, maybe medieval, in the administration of the state which foresees mechanisms so that complaints of citizens (not vassals) are being listened.
The point 39 of the Magna Carta, signed by John of England, has special interest:
“No free man can be arrested, imprisoned or deprived of his rights or his goods. He cannot be either exiled or deprived of his status. Any single person has to be judged according to the law.”
John of England succeeded his brother Richard Lionheart and reigned in England from April 6th 1199 to 1216.