'Magna Carta did resist arbitrary oppression' - Dr Eamonn Butler's letter to the Daily Telegraph

Dr Eamonn Butler's letter to the Daily Telegraph:

SIR – Lord Sumption calls Magna Carta a “turgid” document that has nothing to do with our libertarian tradition. The Charter demands the re-assertion of property rights that Anglo-Saxon England enjoyed before the Norman Conquest. The limits it imposes on authority — preventing the King’s arbitrary confiscation of people’s property and freedom — guarantee those property rights. From that grows parliamentary democracy, since the rules of taxation and justice now require agreement based on debate. The “law of the land” was much older and more fundamental than king-made law: it was the common law of the Anglo-Saxons, built up by the common people over centuries. Today Britain’s common law tradition is swamped by top-down Continental law. Lord Sumption is wrong to suggest that our libertarian tradition owes more to France than to Runnymede. Eamonn Butler Director, Adam Smith Institute London SW1

Read the letter's page here.