In the year 2015, it will have been 800 years since King John met the barons at Runnymede to agree to the terms of what came to be known as Magna Carta. When that anniversary comes to hand, lawyers, judges, and others in countries touched by the Anglo- American legal tradition are apt to pause to reflect on the remarkable vitality of ideas still associated with that venerable document. Many of the Charter's provisions deal with arcane matters of feudal relations and thus hold little interest for our time. We are not likely to muse, for example, on provisions dealing with "aids," a kind of tax or fee, for ransoming the King's person or marrying his eldest daughter.

A. E. Dick Howard, The Bridge at Jamestown: The Virginia Charter of 1606 and Constitutionalism in the Modern World, 42 University of Richmond Law Review, 9–36 (2007).