It was a contract between people and the state, covering many aspects of life, from the church to trade as well as feudal rights and obligations.
Justice was a particularly important feature of the Magna Carta.
The justice system and the feudal system were the two main themes in Magna Carta, but the most famous clause dealt with justice:
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.
These are the key events that took the UK on the road to justice and freedom, while laying a trail that would influence the rest of the world.
979 - Coronation of Æthelred the Unready
Æthelred the Unready takes the traditional three-fold coronation oath of an English king, to uphold peace in the church, to forbid robbery and unrighteousness to all, and to provide justice and mercy in all judgements.
1014 - Restoration of Æthelred the Unready
Æthelred the Unready is restored to the throne of England following the death of Swein Forkbeard. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Æthelred's restoration is founded on a pact agreed between the English king and his people, probably based on his coronation oath.
1086 - Domesday Book
Domesday Book is compiled. This monumental record of the detailed national survey of land holding in England, commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085, is preserved at The National Archives, Kew.
5 August 1100 - Coronation of Henry I
Henry I issues a charter of liberties at his coronation. The charter contains a series of promises to his barons and other parties, mostly relating to feudal custom.
27 May 1199 - Coronation of King John
John is crowned King of England following the death of his older brother Richard I in France on 6 April 1199.
1 June 1213 - Stephen Langton installed as Archbishop
King John finally accepts Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton subsequently absolves John of his excommunication from the Church.
21 April 1214 - Pope becomes England's feudal overlord
Pope Innocent III accepts overlordship of England. This displaces King John from the pinnacle of the feudal hierarchy but in return secures much needed papal support for the king.
17 May 1215 - Barons capture Tower of London
The rebel barons capture the Tower of London, greatly strengthening their position in their struggle with King John.
10 June 1215 - Meeting at Runnymede begins
The barons assemble at Runnymede by the River Thames to negotiate with King John. Their demands are listed in the Articles of the Barons.
15 June 1215 - Granting of Magna Carta
King John grants Magna Carta.
19 June 1215 - Peace is restored
The barons make formal peace with King John by renewing their oaths of allegiance to him.
24 June 1215 - Distribution of Magna Carta begins
The first seven copies of Magna Carta are delivered for distribution.
12 November 1216 - First revision of Magna Carta
Less than a month after King John's death, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, issues a revised version of Magna Carta in his capacity as Regent.
6 November 1217 - Second revision of Magna Carta
The Regent, William Marshal, issues a second revision of Magna Carta.
11 February 1225 - Henry III issues revised Magna Carta
Henry III, who has come of age, issues a substantially revised version of Magna Carta under his own great seal.
12 October 1297 - Edward I confirms Magna Carta
Edward I confirms Henry III's 1225 version of Magna Carta: this text is subsequently placed on the first statute roll.
June 1628 - Petition of Right
Sir Edward Coke initiates the Petition of Right, a statement of civil liberties sent by Parliament to Charles I and conceded by the king in return for a grant of taxation.
27 May 1679 - Habeas Corpus Act
Parliament passes the Habeas Corpus Act, strengthening the ancient writ of habeas corpus which protects people from being detained without legal authority.
16 December 1689 - British Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is passed by Parliament. It sets out the civil and political rights of the people at the time of the accession of William and Mary.
10 December 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The United Nations adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."
This should be the line that nobody is allowed to cross, but even now, these freedoms, justices and responsibilities are being chipped away - freedoms won at great cost are being tossed aside in the name of terrorism.