Magna Carta at 800: Central and East European Perspectives


New Direction hosted a conference to present successful historic attempts to limit government power by law from the 13th to 18th centuries in Central and East European countries.


Globally there are thousands of events and activities being planned and taking place to commemorate 800 years of Magna Carta - the document guaranteeing the fundamental rights and privileges of citizens


New Direction played its part by hosting a conference in Lodz, providing a historical perspective of attempts to limit government power by law from the 13th to 18th centuries in Central and Eastern Europe.


We are particularly grateful to our speakers: Professor Wlodsimierz Nykiel  PhD (President of the University of Lodz, poland), Professor Agnieszka Liszewska PhD (Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Lodz, Poland), Professor Adam Cygan (University of Leicester, UK), Professor Zbigniew Rau PhD (The Tocqueville centre for Political and Legal Thought, Poland), Professor Attila K Molnar PhD (Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary), Jana Janisova PhD (Palacky University, Czech Republic), Dalibor Janis (Palacky University, Czech Republic), Professor Dorata Malec PhD (Jagiellonian University, Poland) Professor Arturas Vasiliauskas PhD (Vilnius University, Lithuania), Professor Natalia Jakowenko PhD (National University of Kyiv-Mahyla Academy, Ukraine). 


Scholars outlined the political, social and intellectual context which led to demands for legal privileges for segments of society in their respective countries. They presented the historical development of these privileges and explained how principles of freedom were codified in fundamental legal acts.


Moreover, they outlined the emergence and structure of political and legal institutions to uphold these principles. They argued that these experiences, institutions and practices contribute, along with the Magna Carta, to the common European heritage of freedom.


The conference gathered historians from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania as well as Britain itself.


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