HomeLawDefects of Common Law That Led to the Development of Equity

Defects of Common Law That Led to the Development of Equity

The development of equity came about due to several flaws in common law. One major flaw was that courts applied the common law more or less arbitrarily, and that resulted in decisions that were often not in the best interests of the litigant. In the 17th century, courts began to apply equity principles, and the court of chancery became the main institution for resolving disputes in equity.

In the 17th century, the English legal system recognized the importance of equity as a source of law. Lord Chancellors, whose decisions were binding on the nation, felt that their discretionary actions were superior to the common law. This led to the gradual systematization of conscience and the introduction of equity rules. Ultimately, these changes led to the development of fixed law and the establishment of the English Common Law Court.

As both systems developed, conflicts between them became more evident. During this time, the Earl of Oxford’s Case proved to be an important decision that gave equity the upper hand. The Earl of Oxford’s case, for example, led James I to grant equity’s application, despite the fact that it had no precedent. However, it was not until the 18th century that the common law court recognized equity as a legal system in its own right.

Another significant defect in common law that prompted the development of equity is the need for supplemental jurisdiction. While a common law court can grant supplemental jurisdiction to a person who is unable to defend himself against another, a chancery court can provide a judicial remedy in a specific case that is not available to a common law court. Further, the common law is more flexible than statutory law.

The trust Act, 1882 largely lays down the basic principles of equity, namely that no wrong should go unpunished if it can be remedied through the courts. This act is a clear sign that equity has been developed to be a viable legal system. In the nineteenth century, many European countries embraced this concept, albeit under different names. The law of nations, meanwhile, remained under the aegis of the common law as well.

Similarly, the development of equity has made it possible for people to sue other people who are liable for their mistakes. These cases are often related to the development of a new body of law that recognizes contracts. The common law is often the preferred choice for commercial parties because of its predictability and simplicity. The adversarial system of common law helps make it possible to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently.


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