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Bill of Rights 1689

English civil rights legislation / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Bill of Rights 1689 (sometimes known as the Bill of Rights 1688)[1] is an Act of the Parliament of England that set out certain basic civil rights and clarified who would be next to inherit the Crown. It remains a crucial statute in English constitutional law.

Quick facts: Long title, Citation, Dates, Royal assent, Co...
The Bill of Rights[nb 1]
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown.
Citation1 Will. & Mar. Sess. 2. c. 2
Royal assent16 December 1689
Commencement13 February 1689[nb 2]
Other legislation
Amended by
Relates toAbsence of King William Act 1689
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Bill of Rights as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from
Quick facts: The Bill of Rights, Created, Location, Author...
The Bill of Rights
LocationParliamentary Archives
Author(s)Parliament of England
PurposeAssert the rights of Parliament and the individual, and ensure a Protestant political supremacy
Full Text
Wikisource-logo.svg Bill of Rights 1689 at Wikisource

Largely based on the ideas of political theorist John Locke,[3] the Bill sets out a constitutional requirement for the Crown to seek the consent of the people as represented in Parliament.[4][5] As well as setting limits on the powers of the monarch, it established the rights of Parliament, including regular parliaments, free elections, and parliamentary privilege.[6] It also listed individual rights, including the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the right not to pay taxes levied without the approval of Parliament. Finally, it described and condemned several misdeeds of James II of England.[4] The Bill of Rights received royal assent on 16 December 1689. It is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William III and Mary II in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England.

In the United Kingdom, the Bill is considered a basic document of the uncodified British constitution, along with Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949. A separate but similar document, the Claim of Right Act 1689, applies in Scotland. The Bill was one of the models used to draft the United States Bill of Rights, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.[6] Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, it remains in effect within all Commonwealth realms, as amended by the Perth Agreement.

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