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Equity and Common Law remedies

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Introduction

Briefly outline the remedies available in Equity and the Common Law. In order to be influential, the law must be professed as both certain and predictable yet flexible and fair. Specifically, it needs clear rules on the one hand and flexibility on the other to produce exceptions to cases that lead to incongruous or unjust conclusions if the rules are applied rigidly. In any system of law, there lies an inevitable dilemma: the problem of reconciling the warring demands between justice and certainty. The view stands that the more general the rule, the less likely it is to do justice to all cases it is applied to. Likewise, the more it is tried to construct a set of rules to apply to all permutations and combinations of cases laid in front of it would lead to a legal system of immense complexity. ...read more.

Middle

This means that the courts can deem a party undeserving of an award if that parties' conduct was unbecoming. Equitable remedies, unlike those of common law, are given at the sole discretion of the presiding judge. Remedies of equity law are awarded in cases where monetary damages will not produce a just result in the eyes of the law. The usual equitable remedies are: * Injunctions - a court order requiring someone to do something or to cease doing something. * Specific Performance - a court order requiring one of the parties to a contractual agreement to complete their part of the contract. It is often only given where the court can supervise the operation of the contract's order. * Rectification - a court order relating to the alteration of contractual documents. ...read more.

Conclusion

Simple violation of the applicable rules can entitle the victim to statutory awards. * Exemplary/Non-compensatory damages - are not awarded to compensate the claimant but as a form of deterrence to the defendant and other would-be offenders from pursuing a similar course of action in the future. * Restitutionary/Disgorgement damages - the defendant is made to surrender all profits through the civil wrong in restitution. The claimant then gains damages which are not measured by referring to losses sustained. Equitable remedies exist to achieve natural justice where the usefulness of monetary compensation is both limited and not justified under the eyes of the law. With remedies of common law, adherence to the letter of the law has occasionally produced unjust results. The existence of equity law is an acknowledgement of the English legal system of the need to prevent these rare occurrences. ...read more.

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