UPDATE:  Where to obtain tickets for 12 March now at the end of that item.

Our group is planning a number of events to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta.  We have been working with the Cathedral in Salisbury which has one of the surviving copies of the document.  Our focus will be on its relevance to the present day and in particular, the Human Rights Act #HRA and its place in modern politics.

We have several projects planned and we will update these pages as time goes on.  But for the moment, this is a brief introduction to what we have planned:

  • A standing display in the cloisters of the Cathedral outside the Chapter House where the Magna Carta is kept.  This will
    Torture wheel

    Torture wheel

    feature images to illustrate the #StopTorture campaign and will have the torture wheel, based on the one used by the Philippine police.  In case you have not come across this, it is a wheel on which the various methods to torture their victims are displayed.  They then spin the wheel to decide on which one to use.  This display will be set up in March and will run for at least a month.  To read more about the torture wheel follow this link.

  • On 12th March at 7pm we will be delighted to welcome Dominic Grieve QC MP who will speak on the relevance of the Human Rights Act today.  In June 1999 he was appointed Conservative spokesman for Scotland and in September 2001 the Conservative spokesman for criminal justice and community cohesion as part of the Shadow Home Affairs team.  From 2003 to 2009 he was Shadow Attorney General.
    Dominic Grieve QC MP

    Dominic Grieve QC MP

    Under the coalition Government Dominic Grieve became a Privy Counsellor and appointed the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland and he held that post until July 2014.

    He has spoken often on human rights matters arguing that despite the Conservative leadership’s recent announcement of fundamental change to both the HRA and the national relationship with the ECHR, there is much that remains undebated and misunderstood about both. 

    He will try therefore tonight try to lay out reasons why – while not free of imperfections – the ECHR and its direct application in our law through the HRA is of enormous benefit to our country and our collective wellbeing.  He is determined that this argument can and must be made with some passion because he believes that it goes to the heart of our identity as a nation and of our national interest.

    It will be an interesting talk and will follow the annual Choral Evensong in aid of Amnesty in the Cathedral.  Tickets: apply to magnacartaevents@salcath.co.uk.


    In the summer on 15 June, we are planning, with the Playhouse, an event where an actor will read selected passages from the Charter and then a panel of guests to discuss their significance.  The guests are likely to be Kate Allen, the Director of Amnesty UK, Prof Guy Standing author of The Precariat and writer and researcher, Ben Rawlence.  This will be in the afternoon so it’s a date for the diary at present.  Details will be both here and at http://www.salisburyplayhouse.com.

    On the morning of the 15th, there will be a 6th form conference involving local schools and Kate Allen has been invited to that.

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