Maxims and Equity
Equity in its broadest sense means fairness. Within the legal system it’s known to be a body of law that looks at all concerns which fall separate from the jurisdiction of common law. It allows courts to use their discretion and apply justice in accordance with “natural law”.
Dictionary.com’s definition of maxim is “an expression of a general truth or principle, a principle or rule of conduct”. Maxims of equity can be described as an established principle of fairness. They tend to show all the qualities of equity, in comparison to the common law, as more flexible, open to the needs of the people and much more prone to accept and take account of the parties’ worthiness and conduct. It can’t be said that there is a definite list of maxims because different sources give different examples. Four of these examples can be described as follows, the first being “Equity follows the law”. This maxim attempts to indicate the relationship between equity and common law, which is an intricate one. It implies that equity would intervene and override the common law if justice found it necessary. Equity does not come to destroy law but to help explain it and fulfil it. A second maxim is “Equity acts in personam”, it specifies that where likely, equity will make sure that its own rules are definitely in line with the common law its decision is simply not regarding the liabilities and rights but it also address to the parties. It is really used to prevent injustice and act in personam on the parties and not really an attempt to overrule common law judgement. Another maxim is “Equality is equity” suggests that if any evidence is absent to the contrary, equity will drift towards the implementation of equal division in which more than one person is entitled to something such as funds. An example of this is a joint bank account between a divorce couple where it is unpractical to make a precise or exact division of the monies between the wife and the husband so...
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