English Common Law: The Definition Of Due Process

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“The principles of natural justice are easy to proclaim but their precise extent is far less easy to define”. EVERSHED M R Introduction- The concept of due process was originated in English Common Law. The rule that the individuals shall not be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without notice and an opportunity to defend themselves predates written constitutions and was widely accepted in England. The Magna Carta, an agreement signed in 1215 that defined the rights of English subjects against the king, is an early example of a constitutional guarantee of due process. That document includes a clause that declares, “No free man shall be seized, or imprisoned ... except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.”…show more content…
It is also, a constitutional guarantee that law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious. Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land, protecting individual persons from the state. Due process has also been frequently interpreted as placing limitations on laws and legal proceedings, in order for judges instead of legislators to define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has often proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural…show more content…
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, declares, Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. In Den v. Hoboken Land and Improvement Company , the first Supreme Court case to attempt to define the Fifth Amendment's due process of law provision, Justice Benjamin R. Curtis, for a unanimous court, stated that the words due process of law were undoubtedly intended to convey the same meaning as the words by the law of the land, in Magna Carta. Lord Coke, in his commentary on those words ... says, they mean due process of law. Justice Curtis continued and noted that although the Constitution did not define due process of law, provided no description of those processes which were intended or forbidden and did not declare the principles to be applied: It is a restraint on the legislative as well as on the executive and judicial powers of the government, and cannot be so construed as to leave Congress free to make any process " due process " by its mere will ... We must first examine the Constitution ... to see whether this process be in conflict with any of its provisions. The case of Stuart v Palmer has to be considered in which it was declared that "due process of law" is based upon the first principles of natural law, which is older

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