charter


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charter,

document granting certain rights, powers, or functions. It may be issued by the sovereign body of a state to a local governing body, university, or other corporation or by the constituted authority of a society or order to a local unit. The term was widely applied to various royal grants of rights in the Middle Ages and in early modern times. The most famous political charter is the Magna CartaMagna Carta
or Magna Charta
[Lat., = great charter], the most famous document of British constitutional history, issued by King John at Runnymede under compulsion from the barons and the church in June, 1215.
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 of England. Chartered companies held broad powers of trade and government by royal charter. In colonial America, chartered colonies were in theory, and to an extent in fact, less subject to royal interference than were royal colonies.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Charter

 

(ustav), a body of rules regulating the structure, procedures, and activities of a state agency, enterprise, or institution or of a particular field of activity. Charters in the USSR include the Rules of Railroads of the USSR and the Statute on Secondary General-education Schools. Charters also regulate the armed forces of the USSR (see). Most charters are approved by the highest bodies of state authority in the USSR; the charters of some institutions and organizations are approved by the appropriate ministries and departments. Voluntary sports societies, the various artists’ unions, dacha-building and housing-construction cooperatives, and other organizations are also governed by charters.

Most international organizations have charters that outline their goals, organizational structure, and activities, for example, the Charter of the United Nations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

charter

1. a formal document from the sovereign or state incorporating a city, bank, college, etc., and specifying its purposes and rights
2. a formal document granting or demanding from the sovereign power of a state certain rights or liberties
3. the fundamental principles of an organization; constitution
4. 
a. the hire or lease of transportation
b. the agreement or contract regulating this
c. (as modifier): a charter flight
5. a law, policy, or decision containing a loophole which allows a specified group to engage more easily in an activity considered undesirable
6. Maritime law another word for charterparty
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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