Business Law

Topics: Common law, Law, Contract Pages: 5 (1789 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Common law and equity:
the reasons behind the creation of equity. What is it and how is it different from common law? What is the present relationship between common law and equity?


In order to provide a broader image of the principles applied by equity and the common law, secondary research was carried out. The process involved both gathering information from the internet websites and Business Law textbooks.


The development of English legal system goes back in the history to the year 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. Before this date it can be admitted that there was no body known as English Law. However, after the invasion of William the Conqueror, the Normans due to their exceptional administration skills enabled the English law evolution and gave the way to the centralization process (Origins and development of English law, 2009). Moreover, the law established a better link between the king and the people and according to the views of state it was crucial (Law and the state, 2009).

The creation of equity

The creation of equity is closely related to the foundation and the development of the common law. That is why it is necessary to discuss such code of laws as the Common Law. During the Norman period of history, the country was ruled by the body named Curia Regis (King’s Council), which possessed juridical power and dealt with different sorts of administrative tasks. However, according to Maclntyre (2008:11), long time after the Norman invasion, the first applications to the legal set of rules, which lately would be known as the common law, were started by King Henry II. He was sending his representatives all over the country to insure all the procedures, which afterwards lead to the fact that these representatives were more judges than the administrators. The concept of this judgment system and its verdicts were based upon the decisions made by the first judges and their recording (Maclntyre, 2008:11). Step by step, all the recordings were synthesized in one code of laws, which is the Common Law. However, the time showed that the Common Law system is not perfect and contains certain defects. These disadvantages afterwards became the main reason why such a body as equity was formed. The principal cause of this was that as the society was growing and developing the common was not able to meet all the needs and provide a timely respond. Moreover, the writ system seemed to be defective and slow in giving the appropriate solutions. Because of the fact that the common law system was very conservative and narrow, if there was a wording mistake in a writ, it was considered completely defective. In addition, one of the main reasons why there was a need in the creation of equity was the existence of only one civil remedy, which was the payment of damages (Maclntyre, 2008:11). Having considered all the reasons discussed above, a special committee, headed by the Chancellor, was set up in order to proceed the petitions. Afterwards, by the 15th century the Chancellor founded the Court of Chancery to which the rules of equity were applied.

What is equity and how is it different from the common law?

Originally, the equity law was not created as a competitor of the common law. It was more a supplementary set of laws, however, step by step; it grew into a strong legal system which covered the disadvantages of the common law. It was created to defend the rights of the victim in the cases where the common law was incompetent and provided protection to the wrongdoer (Hudson, 2001:13). As a consequence, the two bodies became rivals to each other. As highlighted before the concept of the common law was very narrow. Based on the recordings of the previous judges, it did not include a significant number of aspects and what is important it did not change even though there was an obvious need in development. However, the equity law was broader, and the Chancellor...
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