Maxims Of Equity LL.B Part II

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EQUITY FOLLOWS THE LAW
The maxim indicates the discipline which the Chancery Courts observed while administering justice according to conscience. As has been observed by Jekyll. M.R: ‘The discretion of the court is governed by the rules of law and equity, which are not to oppose, but each, in turn, to be subservient to the other.” Maitland said, “Thus equity came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to supplement it, to explain it.” The goal of equity and law is the same, but due to their nature and due to historic accident they chose different paths. Equity respected every word of law and every right at law but where the law was defective, in those instances, these Common Law rights were controlled by


 recognition of equitable Rights. Snell therefore explained this maxim in slightly different way: “Equity follows the law, but not slavishly, nor always.”

Application and Case .

At common law, where a person died intestate who owned an estate in fee-simple, leaving sons and daughters, the eldest son was entitled to the whole of the land to the exclusion of his younger brothers and sisters. This was unfair, yet no relief was granted by Equity Courts. But in this case it was held that if the son had induced his father not to make a will by agreeing to divide the estate with his brothers and sisters, equity would have interfered and compelled him to carry out hi promise, because it would have been against conscience to allow the son to keep the benefit of a legal estate which he obtained by reason of his promise. This decision was held in Stickland v. Aldridge.
Equity follows the law and even if by analogy law can be followed, it should be followed
Limitation
i) Where a rule of law did not specifically and clearly apply
ii) Where even by analogy the rule of law did not apply

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