Magna Carta and the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen : Past, Present and Future image

Magna Carta and the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen : Past, Present and Future

Date: 11 June 2015

The Conference report is now available.

In partnership with the Franco-British Lawyers Society, the Franco British Connections and with the support of the French Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a one day conference was held at Lancaster House on the significance of the Magna Carta and the Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen. 

We are grateful to LexisNexis for sponsoring the conference and to the MagnaCarta800th for their additional support.

Download the biographies of the speakers and chairs of the roundtables

The event was a great success and papers from the conference are available by clicking on the names of the speakers below.

See the Guardian for coverage of Dominic Grieve QC MP's speech on Human Rights.

Click here to access the photos of the conference from our Flickr

 Agenda for the conference  

Magna Carta and the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen : Past, Present and Future.
Lancaster House, Stable Yard, St. James's, London SW1A 1BB
11 June 2015

Chair: Michael Butcher

08:50   Introduction by SE Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to London honouring the late Roger Errera, former senior member of the Conseil d’Etat, France’s Supreme Court for administrative law  

09:00  Keynote speech by Rt Hon Lord Sumption on History and present significance of the Magna Carta and Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen and Q&A

09:30  Panel 1: Constraint of Sovereign Power introduced by Professor Robert Tombs, Etienne Picard, Keith Vaz MP and Jean-Marie Delarue followed by Q & A

  • What were the restraints upon the king in 1215? Are those restraints sufficient to protect us today against new threats to liberty such as government spy programmes?
  • What domestic constitutional, political and legal restraints on the ability of the government are there now to do just as it chooses?
  • How have these documents shaped the relationship between those who govern and citizens today and what are the differences between the two countries?
  • Do the domestic political classes need to regain legitimacy?

11:15  Panel 2: Rome and Brussels introduced by Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden, Sylvie Goulard MEP, Sir Stephen Wall and Bernard Stirn (in French) followed by Q & A 

  • Differences between the MC and the DDHC and the implications of these instruments for the future of Europe?
  • What powers do the organs of the European Union have over sovereign member states?
  • What temporal powers did the Pope have in relation to European kings?
  • Does extra-jurisdictional European power over member states and the Euro need to regain legitimacy?
  • Should Europe have more or less power over its member states?

12:30  Lecture on Human Rights in a Changing European Context  by the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP and Jean-Paul Costa  followed by Q and A chaired by Rt Hon Baroness Blackstone and Professor Christian de Boissieu

14:00  James Harper of LexisNexis on the Global Rule of Law Business Principles drawn up with the Atlantic Council in support of the United Nations Global Compact

14:05  Panel 3:  Freedom of Speech and Religion in the Public Domain chaired by Sir Michael Tugendhat and introduced by Shami Chakrabarti, le père Matthieu Rougé, Andrew Copson and Myriam Francois-Cerrah withQ&A 

  • Are the secular settlements of Europe secure?
  • Do religions have a legitimate right to be exempted from special treatment?
  • Freedom of expression and the protection of religious feelings
  • Should religious beliefs overrule civil rights?

15:30  Break into small roundtables for discussion

Panel I Constraint of Sovereign Power roundtables chaired by Professor Geraldine Van Bueren, Professor Robert Tombs and Michael Butcher
Panel 2 Rome and Brussels chaired by Sir Stephen Wall, Patrick Hénault and Denis MacShane
Panel 3  Freedom of Speech and Religion in the Public Domain chaired by Haras Rafiq, Sir Michael Tugendhat and Shami Chakrabarti 



Download the report

French Section Website