NOVEMBER 27, 2015 - Book Launch - First Fundamental Rights Documents in Europe

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre invites you to the book launch of:

First Fundamental Rights Documents in Europe - Commemorating 800 Years of Magna Carta

Friday, November 27, 2015
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Fauteux Hall - FTX570
(57 Louis Pasteur)

The event will be in English.


  • Markku SUKSI | Author and Visiting Professor from Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • John PACKER | Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre


"With the spotlight on Magna Carta, which is 800 years old in 2015, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, which together are of undeniable importance for fundamental rights-thinking, the existence of similar fundamental rights documents in other European countries is often overlooked. Such fundamental rights documents did, however, exist in the precursors to the current European Union Member States. Some of the documents are ancient, even older than Magna Carta, and some are more recent, but all of them are texts that deserve to be brought out and analysed alongside Magna Carta and the French Declaration in order to better understand the evolution of fundamental rights thinking in Europe.

This volume paints a multi-faceted picture of historical fundamental rights documents in the European space by collating the experience of 24 European Union Member States at times in history when most of these states did not even exist. It is the first comprehensive and systematic evaluation of early fundamental rights thinking across Europe and it reveals surprising diversity. Spanning documents from the fifth century BC right through to the 19th century and early 20th century AD, this review opens up themes not normally found in historiographical analyses of fundamental rights. In addition to commemorating the 800 years of Magna Carta, it is published on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which was adopted as a declaration in the year 2000 and which thus is the most recent fundamental rights document in Europe."

*The Human Rights Research and Education Centre may take pictures at this event for use on the website.

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