Equity and Common Law remedies

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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. Such a system would mean justice is served in all scenarios but would present many difficulties in navigating it for the relevant laws. Thus, the concepts of different remedies awarded based not just on monetary compensation but also based on the courts ordering parties to perform certain actions that would be justified in the eyes of the law.

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Whereas remedies of common law are often in the form of monetary compensation, remedies of equity law result in the courts awarding court orders to the relevant parties. It is important to note that while common law remedies are available as of right, equity law remedies are given on a purely discretional basis. The factors contributing can range from the will of the court to the behaviour and situation of the party claiming the remedies. This means that the courts can deem a party undeserving of an award if that parties’ conduct was unbecoming.

Equitable remedies, unlike those of ...

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