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equity, principles of justice originally developed by the English chancellor. In Anglo-American jurisprudence equitable principles and remedies are distinguished from the older system that the common law courts evolved. One of the earliest functions of the king's chaplain (the chancellor) and of the chancery (the office that he headed) was to govern access to the royal courts by issuing on application the appropriate original writ. At first the chancellor had great discretion in framing writs, but in time he was limited to a few rigidly circumscribed forms, and in certain cases worthy claims could not be satisfied. From this inadequacy arose the practice of appealing directly for aid to the chancellor as the “keeper of the king's conscience.” By the early 16th cent. a fairly well-defined jurisdiction was exercised by the court of chancery in rivalry with the common law. In the 17th cent. it was definitely established that the court of chancery would decide any claim to jurisdiction that the courts of common law disputed. The early chancellors purported to dispense equity in its original sense of fair dealing, and they cut through the technicalities of common law to give just treatment. Some of their principles were derived from Roman law and from canon law. Soon, however, equity amassed its own body of precedents and tended to rigidity. Equity, even in its more limited modern sense, is still distinguished by its original and animating principle that no wrong should be without an adequate remedy. Among the most notable achievements of equity were the trust and the injunction. Because the decree (final order) of an equity court operated as an order of the king, disobedience might be punished as contempt; in legal remedies, on the contrary, the plaintiff was limited to enforcing his (monetary) judgment. The fact that equity trials were decided without a jury was thought advantageous in complex cases. The coexistence of different systems of justice and delays in the courts of chancery came to present such great procedural difficulties that in England the Judicature Act was adopted (1873) to amalgamate law and equity. In the United States amalgamation had begun with the New York procedure code (1848) drafted by David Dudley Field. Today only a few of the states have separate equity courts. Of the remaining states some divide actions and (to a lesser extent) remedies into legal and equitable, while the others have almost entirely abolished the distinction. Even in those states where law and equity remain unmerged, they are often handled by two sides of the same court, with relatively simple provisions for the transfer of a case that is brought on the wrong side.


See F. W. Maitland, Equity (1909, repr. 1969); R. A. Newman, Equity in Law (1961); H. G. Hanbury, Modern Equity (9th ed., ed. by R. H. Maudsley, 1969); G. H. Webb and T. C. Bianco, Equity (1970).

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A building or suite of rooms designed to house any of the following: a low court with special functions, archives, a secretarial, a chancellery.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A building or suite of rooms designed to house any of the following: a lawcourt with special functions, archives, a secretariat, a chancellery.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to daily Phileleftheros, on January 22 the UK's High Court of Justice Business and Property Courts (Chancery Division) deemed inadmissible an appeal filed by the Cypriot government which was trying to reverse a previous ruling.
Ashley is also turning his guns back on Ibrox chairman Dave King and director Paul Murray who are also named Turn to Page 49 From Back Page in the action which has been lodged at the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice.
Mr Justice Eve sat in the Chancery Division until his retirement in 1937 and he died in 1940 at the age of 84.
Figures released by the High Court's chancery division show that 368 claims for breach of fiduciary duty were lodged in 2013 - up from 107 in the previous 12 months.
He slapped them with a writ in July last year in the court's Chancery Division under his real name Matthew Hall.
Newcastle City Council opted not to raise its fees and in a letter sent in June 2010 said it would remove care providers who did not sign new contracts with the authority, an action which Mr Justice Norris of the Chancery Division of the High Court has now condemned.
Sir Brian sat alongside Sir John and Lord Dyson - plus Sir Terence Etherton, head of the Chancery Division of the High Court, and Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court, as he took office.
Mr Justice Birss, who sits in the Chancery Division and is used to dealing with massive legal bills, described the figures as "startling".
Sir John previously held senior judicial appointments as a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales (Chancery Division), and a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel isles.
"I wonder if it isn't malpractice for lawyers to avoid ESI (electronically stored information)," said Peter Flynn, judge for the Cook County Circuit Court Chancery Division.
The case went before a High Court Registrar in the Chancery Division of the High Court when lawyers for Phoenix Venture Holdings argued for the disclosure of financial information related to the assets of MG Rover, which passed between administrators PwC and HBoS in 2005.