Your proposal should address all parts of each section below. Completeness, persuasiveness, clarity, coherence and correctness of your written presentation will be considered in the grading, so please plan, draft, edit, and proofread before submitting your formal Proposal for approval and grading.
The minimum length is two full typed, double spaced pages; however, your Proposal should be as long as it needs to be to describe your project and strategy in some detail and include discussion of all parts of the four of the topics listed below. Remember, you are only doing the proposal and the annotated bibliography, so show me the research and the plan.
Proposals must be formatted according to MLA standards.
I. Introduce your Research Topic and describe its Projected Value
? Introduce the topic and explain why you have chosen it – the source of its interest or importance for you. Describe what you anticipate to be the value of your project–for others, as well as yourself. Write your proposal for a general, uninformed audience. (In your discussion you may wish to answer these kinds of questions: Why is this project of interest to you and worth doing? What do you hope to gain from it? How do you think you and others would be able to use or benefit from your research findings?)
II. State your Leading Research Question and Working Hypothesis
? State the leading Research Question that you propose to pursue for your research project: in this statement make clear what the specific work from the Middle Ages is that your proposed presentation would cover.
? State your Working Hypothesis?that is, would this (proposed) presentation focus on and explain to the class ? based on your research
III. Describe your Research Strategy
? Your goal is to convince readers of your Proposal that you have a well-defined point of departure for your project and a clear sense of direction as you launch into your research in earnest, supported by substantial, promising exploratory research and serious preliminary thinking and reading about your topic.
? What do you need to find out through your research? Provide an organized list of the important questions raised by your topic, key terms and concepts to be defined and explained. Organize topics which you plan to explore in the research and proposed presentation. List questions and assumptions should be grouped or organized logically into related categories and major lines of inquiry relevant to and which should be logically supportive of your research and thesis. Demonstrate that you have already conducted thorough and thoughtful exploratory research, reading, and thinking on your topic?i.e., you know enough about your topic focus now to frame good questions and recognize major lines of inquiry.
? How and where will you look for answers? [Don’t just respond, “In the library” or “online.”] In this section of your Project Proposal, identify the key search terms–subject headings and key words–which define your investigation and which you will use to find sources on your topic. Explain your own hunches and ideas, and any other useful resources, describe further plans you have formulated for finding the necessary sources and evidence for your research project, and answers to your research questions.
? Use MLA format.
IV. List Sources Already Consulted in Your Exploratory Research
? List at least five sources already consulted during your exploratory research.
Clark, David. “Icon of Liberty: The Status and Role of Magna Carta in Australian and New Zealand Law, The.” Melb. UL Rev. 24 (2000): 866.
Thesis/Claim: Though the Magna Carta might have lost its sense in practice, it is still considered the basis of the rule of law and due process. Some judges still consider it as the basis upon which Constitutionalism legitimacy is derived.
Text Summary/Evidence: Clark in the article appreciates the contribution of the Magna Carta Charter to the present day legal system. It is surprising to realize that some of the judges and the entire legal fraternity still lay their basis of arguments upon this charter that existed hundreds of years ago. The Question that Clark answers in this article is how the Charter managed to maintain its relevance and recognition up to the present time. According to the article, its survival and usage is attributed to the 1297 retention of the original copy of the charter, the judges? capacity to adopt and apply, the willingness of those litigating in applying it and the role it has played in the development of key concepts in many jurisdictions.
Brief Critique: the Article gives the reader a lot of insight as to the reasons the charter may still be applicable and relevant to the current legal issues despite it being very old. The fact that my research requires example as to how the charter has impacted upon the development of some concepts in the legal system, makes it important to understand how and why it is still relevant.
Clark, Walter. “Magna Carta and Trial by Jury.” Am. L. Rev. 58 (1924): 24.
Thesis/Claim: The article concludes that as much as the Magna Carta is appreciated and celebrated as the origin of the concepts of the due process and the rule of law, it had very little to do with the two.
Text Summary/Evidence: From the article it quite clear that Magna Carta is much celebrated as the origin of the due process, the rule of law and the jury process when in fact it had very minimal contribution. Clark asserts that the jury process had its origin in German but only came to fame only after its adoption in the Magna Carta Charter. The author appreciates the fact that the great charter came along with liberty rights to the citizens which was a very important stepping stone towards freedom, people should get to understand the role which it played well and not just anticipate.
Brief Critique: the article is important as also expresses the fact that the Magna Carta charter is not the absolute source for the development of certain principles especially the most celebrated one, the jury trial. This is also important to my research as it will help in giving a clear understanding of the concept of Magna Carter.
Hazeltine, Harold Dexter. “The influence of Magna Carta on American constitutional development.” Columbia Law Review 17.1 (1917): 1-33.
Thesis/Claim: since the coming into force in 1215, the Magna Carta has had a lot of influence to the Constitutional and legal development of many countries especially those that came under the colonial rule of the British. The United States of America?s Constitutional and Legal framework are the biggest beneficiaries of the Charter.
Text Summary/Evidence: Hazeltine?s article analyses how the United States of America?s Constitutional and Legal frameworks have benefited from the Magna Carta Charter. According to the article, the contribution of the Magna Carta Charter to the Constitution and Legal framework of the US began with the settlement of the British people in America. It must be remembered that the British settlers always carried along their systems to each and every country the settled in including USA. With them they carried all the principle of the Magna Carta together with those of common law. From the article, we are able to learn that most of the legal rules and principle in America developed from the British common law in which Magna Carta was just a part. In this sense therefore, it becomes clear that since most of the principle of common law were being applied in the USA, then the Magna Carta owing to its fame in England played a major role. This is especially in the areas of rule of law and due process which still applies in the USA.
Brief Critique: An example of how the Magna Carta influenced the development of the Constitutional and legal frameworks of other jurisdictions is very important in my research. This article therefore provides the best example as far the Magna Carta?s effect is concerned. It provides a comprehensive analysis of how the Charter influenced the development of the US Constitution together with other pieces of legislation.
Helmholz, Richard H. “Magna Carta and the ius commune.” The University of Chicago Law Review (1999): 297-371.
Thesis/Claim: The article?s finding proves that ius commune had a role to play in the drafting and development of the Magna Carta. The many unclear and ambigious prvisions of the Magna Carta are attributed to ius Commune.
Text Summary/Evidence: According to the article ius commune is a Latin word for common law. The Author agrees to the fact that the Magna Carta itself as a document had a big problem in terms of the words and terms used. Most of the terms and words were unclear and ambigious while other had little or no meaning. It was therefore important to try and establish where the problem might have been for such a thing to happen. Helmholz observes that the problem came from the application of the common law terms and principles during the development of the document. He also notes that since the document was drafted by many hands with different interests it was much possible that the interests and hands all were connected with common law. Form his assertion therefore; it is crystal clear that the principles and rules of common law played a key role in the drafting and the development of the document something that at times brought many interpretation problems.
Brief Critique: The article gives a broad analysis of the impact of common law to the wording and structuring the Magna Carta. In the legal proffesion, the wording of any given document is very critical during its application. The article is will therefore provide a good basis for critiquing the charter and how it was applied in Britain and its colonies.
Lyon, Bryce D. “Lawyer and Magna Carta, The.” Rocky Mntn. L. Rev. 23 (1950): 416.
Thesis/Claim: the article concludes that as much many legal professionals are still looking at and appreciating the Magna Carta for its contribution towards the development of the concepts of the rule of law and due process, it should not be the case. The advice it gives such professionals is to try and explore other sources.
Text summary/Evidence: The article gives a critique of Coke?s notion that the Magna Carta made a massive contribution towards the development of the principles of the rule of law and due process. Lyon asserts that the legal fraternity should stop holding unto that view alone and should start looking at other new sources to establish how such principles might have been developed too. According to him, the principles did not develop solely from the provision of the Magna Carta as we now have new literature on the same. Though he fault Coke?s notion, he agrees that the misinterpretation of the Magna Carta as done by Coke was for the interest of people rights and that it should not be overlooked. All he asks for is for people especially the lawyers to stop relying on the Magna Carta as the sole source of the two principles.
Brief Critique: Article is a great source of the critique of the Magna Carta. All along, people have praised Charter without looking at some of its shortcomings. It is therefore important to my research as it gives a good critique to the Charter.
McIlwain, Charles Howard. “Due Process of Law in Magna Carta.” Columbia Law Review 14.1 (1914): 27-51.
Thesis/Claim: The article is of the view that the original intention of Magna Carta was to give individuals a right to trial by jury. The Charter was supposed to grant every British citizen full protection of their property and access to a due process of the common law.
Text Summary/Evidence: Mcllwain in article addresses some of the problems exposed by the drafting of the Magna Carta document. According to this article, the wording and the entire drafting of the document brought so many interpretation issues to the extent that there was never clarity in some of the words used. Any legal document is supposed to communicate in a more precise and clear way so as to be to interpreted easily by those granted the mandate to do so. Mcllwain, give some of the examples of the terms he finds problematic in terms of their interpretation. For example, the term nullus liber posed a great interpretation challenges. It was not clear whether the people to be protected were those who in England during that period or those who were originally from England. This paradox raised so many questions to a point of not being sure of who to protect by the Magna Carta.
Brief Critique: the article provides a good analysis of how the document brought about so many problems as to which approach of interpretation to be applied. This was because of the ambiguity in its wording a mistake that was done by its drafters. The article will therefore be handy in my research as it will guide my research as to the challenges that were faced during the application of the Charter.
Radin, Max. “The Myth of Magna Carta.” Harvard Law Review 60.7 (1947): 1060-1091.
Thesis/Claim: The article concludes that Clauses 39 and 40 are the most important and of great significance as far as the concept of the rule of law and due process are concerned.
Text Summary/Evidence: Radin begins the article by making it clear that as much as people praise the Magna Carta charter to today, without clauses 39 and 40, it would not have behind such legacy. The source of it legacy lies in these two clauses which opened a new chapter towards ensuring that individuals? right to liberty were fully considered and recognized. The article goes on an extra mile to describe the contribution of what was referred to as the great charter to the development of other statutes. It is from this description that we learn that any stsutue that contravened Magna Carta was declared void. This is an indication that the great charter as it was referred to had a lot significance and even Radin likens its relationship with other Statutes to that of the Constitution of the United States of America and other laws.
Brief Critique: the article is a very important one it terms of getting to understand how the Magna Carta contributed to the development and transformation of the positive law. Since this charter was the genesis of recognition of personal liberties, it is interesting to know how other pieces of legislation were adjusted to fit into the charter. This question also forms the basis of my research.
Shone, Steve J. “Lysander Spooner, Jury Nullification, and Magna Carta.” QLR 22 (2003): 651.
Thesis/Claim: the article concludes that we should view jury nullification of a sign of losing respect for due process and the rule of law, tow concepts that were at the center of the Magna Carta.
Text Summary/Evidence: the article explores the issue of jury nullification at length especially in the United States of America. The main issues that Shone tries to address are the relationship between jury nullification and Magna Carta and the effects the concept has come along with. It must be first appreciated that most of the legal principles of the US as well as the Constitution came from Magna Carta. They relied heavily on the attainment of the process and the rule of law. This means that every American had a right to be heard and the jury process was required to follow the due process on handling all the matters involving the US citizens. Shone brings up the idea that jury nullification was only brought about as way of discriminating against the blacks by the whites. This was not the intention of the principles from the Magna Carta.
Brief Critique: The article is essential since it provides my research with information of how the US system has tried to change most of the concepts it borrowed from the Magna Carter Charter during the development of the legal and Constitutional frameworks. One of them is by the introduction of jury nullification, something that was viewed as racism and only acted against the blacks when everyone was supposed to go through a due process according to the provisions of the Magna Carta.
Siegan, Bernard H. Property Rights: From Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment. Vol. 3. Transaction Publishers, 2001.
Thesis/Claim: the Magna Carta had a lot of influence to the Constitution and the people of the United States of America especially with regard to property rights and the general quest for liberty.
Text Summary/Evidence: Siegan brings about a very powerful argument of how the development of the Magna Charter had impacted upon so many people in the United States of America. According to the book, after the USA attaining its independence form the British, the journey of getting a new Constitution began. At first, it lacked specific provision with regard to property rights and this brought about a lot of debated between the federalists and the anti-federalists. The Ant-federalists demanded for a clear recognition of their property right in the Constitution throught Bill of rights. This was done and the question that many legal scholars were asking was where the citizens had borrowed the idea of the recognition of the property rights especially in in the bill of rights. It came out clearly that the source of all this was the Magna Carta which had been implemented successfully in Britain despite the country not having a written Constitution. This indicates that the Magna Charta had made a very big impact to the society As far as rights are concerned.
Brief Critique: Siegan?s work will be very important to my research since it will help form a strong argument on the impact of the Magna Carta?s charter on the Constitutional and legal development.
Tate, Joshua C. “Magna Carta and the Fundamental Right to Due Process.” Magna Carta 800 (2015): 129-137.
Thesis/Claim: The concept of due process as depicted in clauses17 and 18, though not as wide as provided for in clauses 39 and 40 granted citizens their fundamental rights within the definition of modern jurisprudence.
Text Summary/Evidence: The article explores the important role two clauses of the charter had towards granting some specific civil litigation a chance to go through a jury trial. According to the article, many people have praised clause 39 and 40 for bringing a lot of inspiration to the juries and the entire nation while forgetting that it is clauses 17 and 18 that narrows down to specifying the location and the manner in which some civil cases must be heard. These two clauses according to Tate were the most important clauses as far as the fundamental right to a due process is concerned. The article also emphasizes the role the Magna Carta played towards the development of the concept of the rule of law. He therefore believes that had the Magna Carta charter not have been of great importance, then the celebration of its anniversary since its inception would not be of great relevance. It is from its contribution that makes people celebrate its anniversary each given year.
Brief Critique: the article is important as it will help me understand the relevance the charter had during the period as well as its contribution into the current concept of the rule of law. This is a very important component of my research.
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