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Old Sunday, May 06, 2012
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Default Difference between common law and equity?

what is difference between common law and equity?
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Common law is a body of legal precedent compiled by past court decisions. These decisions become the rules that common law judges use to decide legal disputes. Courts of equity provide a remedy when common law courts decide a case constitutes an inequitable situation. The common law court determines things are legally unbalanced between two parties; the court of equity provides equalizing relief.
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In short, cases in Common System are decided on Precedents while in Equity cases are decided on Conscience.
Common System is a complete legal system but you can not call Equity a Separate legal system, it is part of Common Law system.
Equity comes when common law fails to deliver justice. So purpose of Equity is to assist Common law.

But if you want to go in to details, read following passages. It will give you a brief historical development of Common System Law and Equity.

Common law system was introduced by Normans when they invaded England.
In this legal system king use to decide cases. There were royal courts to administer local matters. With the passage of time King mobilized this legal system and appointed royal judges to different counties of England and Wales.
But this system was not a perfect legal system and it had its own defects.

As the time passed the decision started to become precedents and future cases were decided in the light of these precedents.
There was a writ system in which only those cases were heard in courts which fall under the definition of such actions.

So to resolve this issue King appointed Chancelors to hear such cases which were out of the jurisdiction of Common Law or went unheard in Court of King or Royal Courts. In this system plaintiff did not required assent of King.
Chancelor ignored precedents and decided cases on his own conscience and soon equity courts become so popular that all cases started to come in Court of Chancelor.

Then a time came when a conflict arose between Common law system and equity that which court is effective?
To solve this conflict Judicature act was introduced in 1873.

To cut the long story short i must say that Common Law system and Equity both has same purpose which is to deliver justice. Common Law system seek guidance from Precedents while in Equity cases are decided on conscience.
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Originally Posted by komal malik View Post
what is difference between common law and equity?
Common law typically refers to laws that have come about and have been enacted based on court rulings. These laws are developed and based on rulings that have been given in older court cases. Common laws are also known as case law or precedent.

Equity, on the other hand, is a branch of law that was developed as a supplement to the strict statutory laws that may provide too harsh punishments. In layman’s terms, equity is a part of law that decides punishment on the basis of justice and fairness after looking at all aspects of the punishment, including the motive of the accused. Though, equity usually refers to judgments that deal with fairness in justice, often stemming from a sense of natural law.

For their major differences explore below link.

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