Definition of equity and development

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  “An attempt to arrive at definition of equity is bound to fail. Equity cannot be confined within some tightly drawn formula. The most that can be done is to indicate the main areas in which equity intervenes in the legal system, to estimate the value of those interventions and to try and estimate where equity may travel in the future”.

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DUDDINGTON: Essentials of Equity and Trust Law, Pearson 2006 at page 6 Discuss this statement by reference to the growth and development of modern equity. Modern equity generally refers to “the doctrines and remedies that originated in the English Court of Chancery in contrast to the “common law” which is the body of rules developed by the King’s courts”. [1] Here, it becomes necessary to inform how equity worked alongside of the common law practically. Since the common law has the drawn formula and set precedents to grant the verdict as well as to award the available remedies, people were forced to go by the decision of the court even if common law awarded none of the remedies or less of what the plaintiff actually has to be awarded. For this reason, the deserving plaintiff appeals to the king asking for a suitable just. So that Chancellor was appointed by the king and he responded to plaintiff’s request by granting available remedies to which he is entitled to. “…..Equity was born later on, after equity had become a regular system of law, and rival to the common law”.[2] Common law refers that “in order to ensure the smooth running of society it is necessary to formulate general rules which work well enough in the majority of cases”[3] So called general rules are defined and limited to a certain extent, consequently the common law was seemed to be harsh and unjust in providing remedies and the writ system of common law. As a result of that, the world was in need of other rules and regulations which could lessen the severity of law or amendment in the existing law. Lord Ellesmere once commented in Earl of Oxford’s Case[4] as “men’s actions are so diverse and infinite that it is impossible to make any general law which will aptly meet every particular and not fail in some circumstances”[5]. It says that it is impractical to generate a general law to rightly meet the conduct of every individual as their conducts are very different and immeasurable from each other. At this point, where the equity was ready to intrude in order to mitigate the harshness also to grant the available remedies to the claimant and impose his rights. This is where progress development of equity was taken place and observed as a separate branch of law. This case further says that in the event of conflict between common law and equity,

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