Utah State Bar celebrates Magna Carta anniversary with essay competition  

SALT LAKE CITY — A high school essay competition is being held statewide during the Utah State Bar’s hosting of the traveling exhibition “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215–2015” in April. The exhibition will include images of documents, books, and other objects from Library of Congress collections that illustrate Magna Carta’s influence throughout the centuries and explain the document’s long history.

The high school essay competition is being held to help students understand the importance of the world’s most enduring symbol of the rule of law.  Scholarship awards include two $500 and eight $250 prizes in grades 8-10 and 11-12.  Deadline originally scheduled for March 2 has been extended to March 30 at noon. More information is available online.

The Utah State Bar was established in 1931 and regulates the practice of law under the authority of the Utah Supreme Court.  The 11,500 lawyers of the bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity.  They envision a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.

History of the Magna Carta

Eight hundred years ago, in a grassy meadow at Runnymede, England, rebellious barons presented a list of remedies of long-held grievances to King John.  The resulting agreement was a practical solution to a political crisis of the highest ranks of feudal society.  It also included the first reference to what became known as “due process of law,” and so it was the first significant step in a process of guaranteeing constitutional freedoms that continues today.

Resources

  • Essay competition deadline March 30 at noon.
  • More information is available online.

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Ed. note:  Updated Feb. 26 to reflect extended competition deadline of March 30.

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