Half a world away and after eight centuries, the Great Charter of Liberties, best known as Magna Carta, still resonates in 21st century New Zealand. The charter was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a way of making peace between the king and his rebellious barons, while also protecting the rights of the Church. Magna Carta was grudgingly adopted by King John of England at Runnymede near Windsor in June 1215. The terms of the Charter curbed the monarch's ability to make laws without referring to the leading citizens, and to impose taxes and fines. It promised justice to all, and although it has only symbolic significance now, much of its content has been refined into the law of the United Kingdom and New Zealand. This afternoon session will look at the life and times of King John, the context for the signing of Magna Carta, and its relevance today.