Development of Equity and Importance

Equity law is defined as a branch of law which developed alongside the common law and it is concerned with the principle of fairness and justice. In another way it is also described as sub-system of English and common legal system which developed over time through principles of natural justices and historical circumstances by the court of Chancery in England. These all definitions show that equity has no precise definition and even if it had a definition which barely depends on the principles of justice and fairness is much inefficient. So this shows that equity law must have to develop through a long period of time.

Equity developed through a lot of time if we look through history it is not clear that when does ii appear but historically the creation was found around after the 1066 which arose from the need to mitigate the harshness in the judgements of the common law. The Royal courts were so rigid and inflexible because of their stickiness to rules and set of procedures that they have to ignore justice in some cases just to ensure the legal certainty and rule of law.

To address these issues Court of kings bench was made which hears directly those issues which required own conscience and fairness to apply in such cases. The court of kings directed the Chancellors those cases and authorize him to do justice with his own opinion and good conscience. The chancellor acted as the prime minister of the King and king’s court direct him the cases to decide on matters. The principles of equity and good conscience have developed in these courts of chancery. In 13th century the king completely assigned the equity authority to the courts of chancery.

 Now the Equity started to develop more and more. The rights and obligations of the equity were created through the judgements of the Chancellor’s court, principles of equity were created to help the equity law. Initially Court of Chancery issues decree and orders on the name of king but then in 1615  Court of Chancery issued decree on his own and then this court developed into an independent court. The court of chancery was also known as the Court of Equity. This court was now able to award equitable awards and passed a decree while applying equity rules so this court gain much popularity in England now. It gained so much popularity that in 1615 in case of conflict between common law and Equity law of Earl of Oxfords case made it clear that in any such case the Equity law will prevail.

In 1800 Lord Nottingham brought the principles of equity in a particular shape for which Lord Nottingham is known as father of Modern Equity. Later on these in 1873 the through an act the distinguish between the equity and common law courts was removed and now all courts are empowered to apply both of rules of equity as well as common law rules.


All facts showed us that Equity came into existence to eliminate the concrete rules and set of procedures of the common law which does not provide justice in some of the cases. The equity wants to eliminate these weaknesses in the system by setting aside those rule and looking into case with good conscience and fairness. The popularity of the Equity in English legal system also shows that Equity was able to eliminate those weaknesses. Equity courts made such judgments and developed as much that it was given preference over the common law that shows that Equity did made a difference in England overtime. Every court was granted the power of Equity also made that clear that how much it was able to overcome those weaknesses in the English Legal system at that time.

1 thought on “Development of Equity and Importance”

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