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Intro To Equity Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Equity and Trusts Notes

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A more recent version of these Intro To Equity notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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E&T: Introduction to Equity

- Development of equity: remedy to harshness of common law. petitions: appeals to King, then delegated to Chancellor ? court of Chancery along common law courts. conscience: basis of Chancellor's decisions, but: unpredictable + uncertain. system of equity: 16C/17C on - precedent in Chancery ? dev. into system. developments:

1. new procedues: e.g. subpoena

2. new remedies: e.g. injunction, specif ic performance, rescission, rectif ication.

3. new rights: e.g. equity of redemption, rights under trusts. trust: equitable invention legal + equitable ownership split: trustee (legal owner) + beneficiaries (equitable/beneficial owner). relationship with common law: tension at first. 1615 Earl of Oxford's Case - James I decided equity should prevail in cases of conflict. ? principle still in s49(1) Senior Courts Act 1981. 1873-75 Judicature Acts: all courts can apply rules of common law and equity.

- Maxims of equity: statements of broad principles - may apply if no contrary authority.

1. equity will not suffer a wrong to be without remedy.

2. equity follows the law.

3. where the equities are equal, the law prevails.

4. where the equities are equal, the first in time prevails.

5. he who seeks equity must do equity.

6. he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

7. delay defeats equity.

8. equality is equity.

9. equity looks to the intent rather than the form.

10. Equity looks on that as done which ought to be done. (N.B.: only applies where there is an enforceable contract in existence)

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