Friday, June 24, 2011

Four of the Six Statutes (and the first appearance of "due process of law," in those words)

1331: 5 Edward III 9: “Item, it is enacted, that no man from henceforth shall be attached by any accusation nor forejudged of life or limb, nor his lands, tenements, goods, nor chattels seised into the King’s hands, against the form of the Great Charter, and the law of the land.”

1351: 25 Edward III 4: “Item, whereas it is contained in the Great Charter of the franchises of England, that none shall be imprisoned nor put out of his freehold, nor of his franchises nor free custom, unless it be by the law of the land; it is accorded, assented, and stablished, that from henceforth none shall be taken by petition or suggestion made to our lord the King, or to his council, unless it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawful people of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by process made by writ original at the common law; nor that none be out of his franchises, nor of his freeholds, unless he be duly brought into answer, and forejudged of the same by the course of the law; and if any thing be done against the same, it shall be redressed and holden for none.”

1354: 28 Edward III 3: “Item, that no man of what Estate or Condition that he be, shall be put out of Land or Tenement, nor taken nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to Death, without being brought in Answer by due Process of the Law.”

1368: 42 Edward III 3: “Item, at the request of the commons by their petitions put forth in this Parliament, to eschew the mischiefs and damages done to divers of his commons by false accusers, which oftentimes have made their accusations more for revenge and singular benefit, than for the profit of the King, or of his people, which accused persons, some have been taken, and sometime caused to come before the King’s council by writ, and otherwise upon grievous pain against the law: It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before justices, or matter of record, or by due process and writ original, according to the old law of the land: And if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in the law, and holden for error.”

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