04 – Bill Of Rights 1688

Download PDF – Bill of Rights 1689

The Bill of Rights (a short title conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule) is an act of the Parliament of England, whose title is An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown. It is often called the English Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament in December 1689 and was a re-statement in statutory form of the Declaration of Rights, presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It enumerates certain rights to which citizens and permanent residents of a constitutional monarchy were thought to be entitled in the late 17th century, asserting subjects’ right to petition the monarch, as well as to bear arms in defense. It also sets out, or, in the view of its drafters, restates, certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in parliament.

Along with the 1701 Act of Settlement the Bill of Rights remains, today, one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession to not only the throne of the United Kingdom, but, following British colonialism, the resultant doctrine of reception, and independence, also to those of the other Commonwealth realms, whether by willing deference to the act as a British statute or as a patriated part of the particular realm’s constitution.[1] Since the implementation of the Statute of Westminster in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards) the Bill of Rights cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm’s own parliament, and then, by convention, and as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms.[2]

The Bill of Rights is further accompanied by the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act, applies in Scotland. Further, a bill of rights has been listed, in Republic of Ireland’s Statute Law Revision (Pre-Union), as an English act of parliament to be retained as part of the country’s law [citation needed]. [3] The English Bill of Rights 1689 inspired in large part the United States Bill of Rights. [4] [5]

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