What is Due Process of Law?

Due Process Of Law is a central concept of Anglo-American constitutional history. It is generally traced to the Latin phrase per legem terrae (by the law of the land) in the Magna Carta of 1215. In chapter 39 of that document King John promised: “No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way molested; nor will we proceed against him, unless by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” Magna Carta was periodically confirmed by succeeding sovereigns, and in a statute of 1354, reign of Edward III, the phrase “due process of law” first appears: “That no man of what estate or condition that he be, shall be put out of land or tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to death, without being brought in answer by due process of law.”

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