The Principle Of Equity Within The World Of Doctrine, Not Of Neat And Tidy Rules

1473 WordsNov 17, 20156 Pages
Equity is a source of law which is based on flexible principles to supplement the common law, and thereby alleviating the harshness. Lord Scarman once described the principle of equity in National Westminster Bank PLC v Morgan as a ‘world of doctrine, not of neat and tidy rules’ which emphasises its rigidity nature to provide its flexibility. As Alastair Hudson noted , many different doctrines fit inside English equity which introduce a more systematic approach to the common law. It is important to examine equity’s historical development to recognize the root of how it was formed and used, and how it still serves a purpose within the modern legal system. When discussing the history of equity, it is imperative to go back to the 12th century where the King and his courtiers would travel around the country to settle disputes and collect the citizen’s taxes. During this time, the King’s Chancellor would advise the King and his Council on these matters. Due to this, he became known as the King’s conscience. Where the use of the common law to settle a dispute proved to be unjustified, the Chancellor would provide a just remedy. In this way, the King’s common law became well founded, and the concept of equity was formed. Common law suits were known to be inflexible, as the common law only provided one type of remedy, damages, which was not always an adequate solution to every problem . Some litigants grew dissatisfied with the system and petitioned to the King. However, all of

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