Equity and Common Law - Research Paper Example

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This paper highlights that equity (in law) was created during England in the 13th century when the people tried to obtain justice from the courts but couldn't due to too much power was given to the court judges. If a person wanted to remove another person, then a petition to the court was given…
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Equity and Common Law
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Download file to see previous pages People's only choice was to petition to the King. Later on, the system was changed and then the people's petitions were sent to the Lord Chancellor to deal with. (Development of Law Website)
Soon enough the law of equity and the common law started to conflict. The fictional case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce in Bleak House written by Charles Dickens is one classic example of such a case. Litigants would go 'jurisdiction shopping' and often would seek an equitable injunction prohibiting the enforcement of a common law court order. The penalty for disobeying an equitable 'common injunction' and enforcing a common law judgment was imprisonment. (Cockburn & Shirley, 2005)
The resolution of the conflict came in the Earl of Oxford's case in 1615 where a judgment of Coke CJ was allegedly obtained by fraud. The Lord Chancellor had issued a common injunction out of the Chancery prohibiting the enforcement of the common law order locking the two courts in a stalemate. Attorney-General at that time, Sir Francis Bacon, upheld the use of the common injunction and concluded that in the event of any conflict between the common law and the equity, equity would prevail. Thus the people's petitions were started to be dealt justly. ...
Later in 1870, Equity and Common Law court's administration were fused in England in the Judicature Acts of the 1870s into one unified court system. (Cockburn & Shirley, 2005)
Equity
Generally, Equity means fairness. But according to the English law, it refers to the body of rules originally enforced only by the Court of the Chancery. It is referred to as a supplement to the common law since it fills in the gaps and makes the English legal system more complete. According to the Farlex Encyclopedia, it is defined as a "System of law supplementing the ordinary rules of law where the application of these would operate harshly in a particular case". Sometimes it is regarded as an attempt to achieve 'natural justice'.
Equity created new rights and as a result of it, new procedures were introduced such as the right to subpoena and discovery of documents. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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