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Common Law and Equity Essay.

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Common Law and Equity Essay. In very early times - before King Alfred (849-899), there was no system of justice, which applied to the whole of the country. The population was not ruled by a single monarch, transport and communications were available to very few and no law books were available, however, the population was very small at this time, therefore meaning it was not required as much as nowadays. In 1066, William I made changes to the old system, introducing the Curia Regis and appointing judges - common law was first introduced during this time. The king's representatives were sent throughout the land to check local administration and hear local cases. Case were interpreted and customised to suit the whole country. The Common law however, was not written down immediately, however after a period of time it was written down and later a further development was made and the ruling made by kings, were also written down. ...read more.


The Lord Chancellor could base his decisions on conscience and right. This caused friction with common law courts and in 1851 the Court of Appeal in Chancery was introduced, however the Judicature Acts 1873-1875 abolished this court and its jurisdiction transferred to the Court of Appeal. Unlike common law, equity recognised and enforced the rights of the beneficiary - not only as against the trustee but also against any transferee of the legal interest who knew of the interest of the beneficiary. Common law has changed throughout the years however it still fails to comply with all legal aspects of today's population it is for this reason that equity was introduced, equity now helps the justice system work more efficiently. Nowadays, equity is used in many situations, but is mainly used in mortgage and trust problems. The relevance of equity today is highlighted in the promissory estoppel. Lord Denning first suggested it in Central London Property v High Tree House LTD, 1947. ...read more.


Another recent expansion to equity is the Anton Pillars Orders. This orders the defendant to allow the plaintiff to enter his or her premises and take away documents or materials that may be relevant to the case. This is valuable in the case of equity as it prevents s the defendants destroying what may be very valuable evidence. This is highlighted in the case of Anton Pillars KG v Manufacturing Process LTD, 1976. Even though many remedies have been made through equity the Courts are prepared to extend these remedies. The principle that they are all discretionary still remains. Equity has already seen many changes and new areas of law have been developed, however equity and its laws and constantly reviewed and new areas are still being developed. More recent attempts to extend equity have been resisted by the house of Lords (Scandinavian Tanker Co AB v Plota Petroleum Ecutorania, 1981), however more and more possible extensions of equity are constantly being brought before the attention of the House of Lords, enabling equity to continue to grow. Gemma Louise Lang - AS law. ...read more.

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