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Essay example - Equity and Common Law College

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Pages 7 (1757 words)
This paper will review the legal terms Equity and Common law, their historical development in the courts of England and the United States and how they are relevant to judicial proceedings in modern times.
What is Equity Equity is an English system of justice developed during the 17th and 19th centuries separate and distinct from common law…

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The courts of law in medieval times enforced the law of the king. The range of claims that these courts agreed to hear gradually became more restricted and painfully technical, and many deserving plaintiffs were denied a hearing. A plaintiff's alternative was to send a petition directly to the king, asking for mercy and conscience to decide the matter. The king regularly delegated these petitions to his chancellor who was the king's clergy and confessor. Soon the Chancery, the king's secretarial department, began to resemble a judicial body and became known as the "Court of the Chancery."
By the 15th century, the judicial power of the "Chancery" was recognized. Equity as a body of rules varied from Chancellor to Chancellor until the end of the 16th century. After the end of the 17th century only lawyers were appointed to the Chancery.
Equity acts as a system of decrees forcing an individual to act or forbidding an individual from acting by issuing injunctions or decrees. However in modern times a court will be reluctant to this if another solution namely monetary compensation is available. Thus the most common solution found in court system today is for a litigant to request damages in the form of monetary payment. This is the basic distinction between using equity determinations to administer the law and the law system as it exists today. ...
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