Law and the idea of liberty in Ireland from Magna Carta to the present


Peter Crooks & Thomas Mohr, editors

Hardback €49.95
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-740-2
March 2023. 244pp; ills

"Law and the idea of liberty in Ireland from Magna Carta to the present is an important recently published volume marking the octocentenary of Magna Carta 1216 being transmitted to Ireland in February 1217 ... the book contains a number of important contributions which will be of interest to historians of Ireland's constitutional and legal past, as well as wider historians of colonialism and public law. This volume represents a valuable and nuanced contribution to the scholarship surrounding the long history of Magna Carta ... The essays tell the story of Magna Carta in Ireland across the full period from the 12th to the 21st centuries ... the volume is well crafted witha  strong degree of synergy between the essays from which key themes emerge ... This volume is a particularly welcome addition to an increasing and needed body of literature on the legal history of public law ... This volume is a timely contribution to that growing trend and will play an important role in developing discussions around the legal history of constitutional and public law in Ireland and beyond." AJ Hannay, The Irish Juror 2024

"This book is long overdue, not because it seeks to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Great Charter, penned in 1215 at Runnymede by King John at the insistence of his barons, but because it is the first authoritative text to consider the influence of the charter on modern Ireland. [..] The masterstroke of this book is the fast-paced narrative running through the entire work and the treatment of the Great Charter regarding certain important aspects of an 800-year legal and political history. [..] The detailed analysis of Magna Carta Hiberniae must be considered the magnum opus of this book. [..] This book will appeal to not only the reader with an interest in legal history but also any reader who has an interest in the structural evolution of Ireland legal, political or social, from the early thirteenth century to the twenty-first century." James Meighan, History Ireland, July/August 2023.

“This excellent and well produced collection adds significantly to our knowledge of the impact of Magna Carta beyond England. The editors rightly highlight the paradox apparent almost throughout the book, that ideas of liberty in Ireland flowing from Magna Carta were contested and often highly restrictive from the middle ages on. But they also raise a still more burning question: how far ‘the extension of Britain’s ‘empire of liberty’ was predicated upon the extermination, dispossession or disenfranchisement of ‘native’ peoples who were deemed too uncivilized or primitive to be admitted to the benefits of English law’ (p. 6). All future discussions of this topic can now take the Irish evidence fully into account.” Hector MacQueen, Parliaments, Estates & Representation, February 2024