The Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter) was a charter written in 1215. This charter limited the power of the English Monarchs, specifically King John of England, from absolute rule. The Magna Carta was the result of years of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John, and the various members of the English nobility over John's rights as King. The Magna Carta specified which rights a monarch would be required to renounce, which legal procedures a monarch would need to accept, and it specified that the will of the king could be bound by law.
The Magna Carta is widely considered to be one of the first steps in human history towards the rise of the rule of constitutional law. The document is often named with other documents such as the Constitution of the United States of America, the Articles of Federation, and the Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies when speaking of the rights of sentient beings. (TOS episode: "Court Martial")
In the 1930s of a timeline he altered when time traveling through the Guardian of Forever and saving the life of Edith Keeler, the USS Enterprise's Doctor Leonard McCoy considered how he might contact James T. Kirk and Spock in the 23rd century. He recalled that documents such as the Magna Carta and the American Declaration of Independence had survived through the centuries. (TOS - Crucible novel: Provenance of Shadows)
In 2276, the Federation president compared the relative cultural value of the Magna Carta to the historic Sword of S'task when it was stolen by Romulan Khre'Riov Ael t'Rllaillieu. (TOS - Rihannsu novel: Swordhunt)
- TOS episode: "Court Martial"
- TOS - Rihannsu novel: Swordhunt
- TOS - Crucible novel: Provenance of Shadows