An event on Wednesday marked the official opening of the Magna Carta Exhibition at NSW Parliament.

Rule of Law Education Coordinator Jackie Charles and Michelle Painter SC discussing the Magna Carta

Rule of Law Education Coordinator Jackie Charles, Michelle Painter SC, and Alexandra Rose discussing the Magna Carta

The Hon Don Harwin MLC, President of the Legislative Council, welcomed guests to the event and introduced Magna Carta Committee Chairman Professor Nicholas Cowdery AM QC.

Mr Cowdery spoke about the history of the Magna Carta and what it means for society today. He discussed the myth of the Magna Carta, dispelling ideas that it is linked to trial by jury and democracy. He stressed that it did have one provision that maintains continued relevance – an opposition to mandatory sentences. Mr Cowdery stated that the Magna Carta stood for proportionality in sentencing and that as a result it was, and continues to be, incompatible with mandatory sentences.

Magna Carta Committee Chairman Mr Nicholas Cowdery AM QC addressing guests

Magna Carta Committee Chairman Mr Nicholas Cowdery AM QC addressing guests

The event was attended by a host of parliamentarians, members of the legal profession, and students from Narromine High School and Dubbo Distance School of Education, some coming from as far as Walgett!

The Magna Carta Committee of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia would like to thank the Hon Don Harwin MLC and NSW Parliament for hosting the event.


From Left to Right: President of the Legislative Council the Hon Don Harwin MLC, Mr Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, and the Hon Shelley Hancock MP Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.


From Left to Right: Magna Carta Committee Members Richard McHugh SC, Malcolm Stewart, and Chairman Nicholas Cowdery AM QC