Development of Legal Equity

Topics: Common law, Equity, Law Pages: 3 (940 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Equity was developed over centuries but initially as a reaction to the “harshness of the common law or lack of developments in common law”. Furthermore, the common law system went unchanged for centuries and was a system were petitions were presented to the King for his grace in some complaint where “the usual royal answer was let him sue in common law”. In addition, complainants often complained about officials in respect of misconduct and unfairness.

During the 14th century petitioning to the King was so common that some complaints had to be referred to the special council of Parliament; in which hearing these complaint continued in the role of “Curia Regis”. A general and permanent change of law was brought about because of an increased amount of petitions only complaints of special importance where reserved for parliament. Furthermore, “if a bill was asserted to become statues private suits were more often dealt with by the council or delegated to individual councillors such as the Chancellor or Admiral”. However, out of all the courts “the Chancellors developed jurisprudence of its own”.

The Chancellor had the custody of the Great Seal of England “which was used to authenticate the documents which his clerks prepared” such as property, privilege, dignity and writs. Through this the Chancellor was associated with justice by the 15th century the Chancellor became to issue decrees in his own name and this was the first time judiciary activity in the Chancery was noted. Furthermore, the Chancery had control of inquisitions of property rights; the Latin side of the Chancery were all the records were kept. The English side of the Chancery were Bills and pleadings were written. In 1535 under the reign of Henry VIII parliament passed the statue of uses in which the Chancery also recognised the obligations of trusts in land.

During the 16th century tort and commercial cases began to feature prominently as there was a substantial appellate jurisdiction...
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