THE COURT OF EQUITY

Equity law supersedes common law and statute law when there is a conflict between the two and neither can appropriately bring the correct verdict.

The Court of Chancery was the Court of Equity which developed to provide remedies not available in the courts of common law.

The Law of Equity - made simple:

The law of equity is all about being open, honest, acting in good faith and with clean hands.
It exists to ensure that where common law does not supply a fair remedy, then equity will do so.

He who seeks equity must do equity - in other words, you must behave honourably to receive honourable recompense.
Equity relates to a person rather than to property.

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The 3 most important principles of equity are honesty, good faith and clean hands

Justice Must Not Only Be Done, But Must Also Be Seen To Be Done.
Lord Hewart

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EQUITY

In its broadest sense, equity is fairness. 
As a legal system, it is a body of law that addresses concerns that fall outside the jurisdiction of common law.

Equity law supersedes common law and statute law when there is a conflict between the two and neither can appropriately bring the correct verdict.

Full Definition of equity

ajustice according to natural law or right specifically freedom from bias or favouritism
bsomething that is equitable

UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE It's here in black and white!

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Quoted from Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website:
"all courts could now administer both equity and common law – with equity to reign supreme in any dispute."

Law and Equity.

Quoted from Legislation website:
"wherever there is any conflict or variance between the rules of equity and the rules of the common law with reference to the same matter, the rules of equity shall prevail."

THE RULES OF EQUITY ARE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, CREATING LAWFUL EXCUSE

  1. Equity prevails, granting lawful excuse from existing common law precedents, in the event of conflict between the rules of equity and common law (court judgements):
  2. Equity = fair and just as dictated by our conscience, being our guide of right and wrong.
  3. Equity acts in person (fictions of law cannot act for they have no 'being'), and
  4. Equity will not suffer a wrong without a remedy (all are accountable for harm they cause), and
  5. Those who want equity must do equity (act with honour in good faith and with clean hands)

'no man shall set up his own iniquity as a defence, any more than as a cause of action' [1]

[1]Montefiori v Montefiori (1762)https://ssudl.solent.ac.uk/id/eprint/1313/1/2007_11_1&2.pdf

THE LAW IS DISCOVERABLE AND
KNOWABLE TO ALL:

Ignorance of the law is no excuse
(Natural law will prevail = Truth is Sovereign)

All are equal under the law
(no privileges = what you can do I can do)

No one is above the law
(no immunity = all are accountable for harm they cause)

The law operates without fear or favour
(due process of the rule of law)

To lie is to go against the mind
(meeting of minds = consent)

Innocent until proven guilty
(the claimant must prove their case)

He who seeks equity must do equity - in other words, you must behave honourably to receive honourable recompense.
Equity relates to a person rather than to property.

Earl of Oxford’s Case (1615)

A complex case that involved around the conflict of ownership of real estate between the Earl of Oxford and Magdalene College’s Master.

The result of that case was a stand-off between Chief Justice Coke (the supreme authority of the common law) and Lord Chancellor Ellesmere (supreme authority of the court of Chancery) – as the latter forbade the execution of judgement obtained in the common law court.

The dispute between these two judges was submitted to King James I who upheld the injunction against the common law court and decreed the following:

“If there is a conflict between the common law and equity, equity shall prevail”

King James I of England

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The Maxims Of Equity

These are the general legal principles that have been adopted through following precedent in regard to equity. These maxims are the body of law that has developed in relation to equity and these help to govern the way equity operates. All maxims are discretionary in nature and courts may choose whether they wish to apply these principles.

  • Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy:

    This maxim developed as common law had no new remedies only monetary damages. Maxim must be treated with caution as today's laws are made by the Oireachtas. Maxim can be used by the beneficiary of a trust whose rights were not recognised by the common law. Equitable remedies such as injunctions or specific performance may be given.

    - (Patterson v Murphy 1978 ILRM 85) injunction

  • Equity follows the law:

    Courts will firstly apply common law and if this is not fair then an equitable remedy will be provided. This maxim sets out that equity is not in place to overrule judgements in common law but rather to make sure that parties don't suffer an injustice.

  • He who seeks equity must do equity:

    A remedy will only be provided where you have acted equitable in the transaction. This maxim is discretionary in nature and is concerned with the future conduct of the plaintiff.

    - (Cheese v Thomas 1994)

  • He who comes to equity must come with clean hands:

    This maxim is linked to the previous maxim and relates to the past conduct of parties. They must not have had any involvement in fraud or misrepresentation or they will not succeed in equity

    - (Overton v Banister 1844) A beneficiary failed in their action against the trustees to pay her back the assets of the trust she had already received as a result of a misrepresentation of her age.

  • Delay defeats equity:

    Laches is an unreasonable delay in enforcing a right.

    If there is an unreasonable delay in bringing proceedings the case may be disallowed in equity. Acquiescence is where one party breaches another's rights and that party doesn't take an action against them they may not be allowed to pursue this claim at a later stage. These may be used as defences in relation to equity cases. For a defence of laches courts must decide whether the plaintiff has delayed unreasonably in bringing forth their claim and the defence of acquiescence can be used if the actions of the defendant suggest that they are not going ahead with the claim so it is reasonable for the other party to assume that there is no claim. (Nelson v Rye 1996)

  • Equality is Equity:

    Where more than one person is involved in owning a property the courts prefer to divide property equally. Prefer to treat all involved as equals. In the case of a business any funds left over from dissolution should be divided equally.

  • Equity looks to the intent rather than the form:

    Principle established in (Parkin v Thorold 1852). This maxim is where the equitable remedy for rectification was established this allows for a contract to be corrected when the terms are not correctly recorded. This maxim allows the judge to interpret the intentions of the parties if the terms aren't recorded properly.

  • Equity looks on that as done which ought to have been done:

    The judges look at this contract from the enforceable side and the situation they would be in had the contract been completed

  • Equity imputes an intention to fulfil an Obligation:

    If a person completes an act that could be regarded as fulfilling an original obligation it will be taken as such.

  • Equity acts in personam:

    This maxim states that equity relates to a person rather than their property. It applies to property outside a jurisdiction provided that a defendant is within the jurisdiction.

    - (Penn v Lord Baltimore 1750) English court ordered specific performance on land in the US.

  • Where the equities are equal, the first in time prevails:

    Where two parties have the right to possess an object the first one with the interest will prevail.

  • Where the equities are equal, the law prevails:

    Where two parties want the same thing and the court can't honestly decide who deserves it most they will leave it where it is

The Rule of Law - made simple:

This is the framework in which a fair and peaceful society exists. It ensures accountability from public bodies within the law. It entitles all people to equality before the law, protects their human rights and enables them to access efficient dispute resolution mechanisms. Justice, law and order have to be prevalent to maintain a transparent and fair society.

Rule of Law