Explain how Equity came into English law and discuss its roles in todays legal system. Do you consider judges should have the right to give equitable decisions? Essay

666 WordsJul 2, 20083 Pages
During his reign, Henry II developed the writ system. Nowadays a writ is equivalent to filling in a claims form. A writ was a royal command or letter to attend court and it had the effect of centralising the jurisdiction of the courts. At an early stage in English Common law a writ was necessary to have a case heard at a royal court. If a person wished to start an action it was necessary to obtain a writ from the King’s Chancellor. A writ would be purchased from the Chancery and the Court of Exchequer was also able to issue its own writs. New writs could be drafted to fit new situations; however clerks of the Chancery usually re used old forms. Eventually there became an increasing opposition to creating new writs from the Chancery. This lead to the creation of the Provisions of Oxford in 1258, this prohibited the creation of new forms of writ without the sanction of the King’s Council. Forms of action were the different procedures by which a legal claim could be made in the early history of English Common Law. In 1822 and 1833 the forms of action were abolished meaning that only one uniform writ was used. The writ system could only be issued for particular forms of actions. If there was no writ for a particular complaint, or one could not be adapted then no action was taken. In cases were no writ was issued appeals were made directly to the King. The King would then make decisions on the facts of the case. The number of appeals grew in number so the King passed them to his Lord Chancellor. The decision made was usually based on conscience and natural justice rather than the law. As the number of appeals continued to increase a Chancery Court (The Court of Equity) was established to her them. Often decisions made by the Chancery Court conflicted with decisions made by Common Law courts. James I ruled that in cases of contrary decisions, equity should prevail.

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