Nature of equitable interests

Essay by adebeempae July 2004

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under the early common law there was no remedy for a breach of trust. if x owned blackacre in fee simple and made a conveyance of blackacre to Y instructing him to hold in trust for Z, common law gave no remedy against Y if he used he property for his won and not for Z's benefit. court of chancery would however enforce the trust against the benefit of Z,Z was regarded as a beneficial or equitable owner i.e person entitled to a benefit in equity, possessing an equitable interest in blackacre.

'Equity can be described but not defined. It is the body of law developed by the Court of Chancery in England before 1873. Its justification was that it corrected, supplemented and amended the common law. It softened and modified many of the injustices in common law, and provided remedies where at law they were either inadequate or non-existent.'

At the beginning of the 14th Century three major courts existed: the Kings Bench, the Court of Common Please and the Exchequer. The latter not only performed the functions of a court, but also was an administrative body. It comprised of two sections: one relating to revenue, one relating to administrative matters out of which it developed its judicial role. In its revenue mode it was called the Exchequer; in its administrative role leading to judicial functions it was called the Chancery. The Chancellor as head of Chancery was responsible for the issue of writs in the courts. Sometimes the Chancellor formulated new writs when the facts of the case before him, or the remedy sought did not fit the form of known writs. At the same time where citizens could not get justice before the common law courts they would petition the king. The king delegated much of the...