Petition of Right

Petition of Right

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The Petition of Right, passed in 1628, is one of the major English constitutional documents that remains part of the United Kingdom’s uncodified constitution. The petition sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing, making it a forerunner of the U.S. Constitution.

The Petition is most notable for its confirmation of the principles that taxes can be levied only by Parliament, that martial law may not be imposed in time of peace, and that prisoners must be able to challenge the legitimacy of their detentions through the writ of habeas corpus. The Petition's ban on the quartering of troops is reflected in the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Initially, King Charles I tried to avoid assenting to the Petition, but he made an about face and assented to it that June. As it turned out, Royal judges had hinted that the Petition could not prevent Charles from exercising his prerogatives in the future. In essence, Charles had accepted the Petition without any intention of abiding by it – as would be demonstrated by his conduct during the 1630s. Charles I’s actions would help lead to the English Civil War later in the century.

In enacting the Petition, Parliament sought redress on the following points:
• Taxation without Parliament's consent
• Forced loans
• Arbitrary arrest
• Imprisonment contrary to Magna Carta
• Arbitrary interference with property rights
• Lack of enforcement of habeas corpus
• Forced billeting of troops
• Imposition of martial law
• Exemption of officials from due process

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013199842
Publisher: Charles River Editors
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 68 KB

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