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The Equity Theory of Justice

30 January 2013, 11:03

                                            THE  EQUITY  THEORY  OF  JUSTICE

The core of the equity theory is the principal of balance and equity.  An individual’s motivation level is correlated to his perception of equity, fairness and justice.

EQUITY in popular usage is a term synonymous with fairness and natural justice and, in this sense plays a vital role in the work of judges, jurors, legislators and government administrators.  In its more specialised meaning, equity refers to the principles and remedies originally developed by the old English Court of chancery and administration in modern times in England and the United States by courts with comparable powers traditionally characterizes by a discretionary treatment of the individual case in accordance with notions of natural justice, thus supplementing the common law, Equity has been a creative, reforming force in Anglo- American law

                                                  ENGLAND

   The historical origins of the court of chancery were significant by the end of the 13th century the Kings common law courts had largely limited the relief available in civil cases to the payment of civil damages and to the recovery of the possession of land and of chattels.  They had refused to extend and diversify their types of relief so as to meet the needs of new and more complex situations.

 Disappointed litigants  had turned to the king and council with petitions for justice because the courts had afforded either no remedy or one that was ineffective.  These petitions were referred to the lord chancellor, who was the king’s prime minister,  a powerful member of the council,  A bishop learned in the canon law and the chief secretary of the government.   By the early years of the 14th century the petitions were going directly to the chancellor and by the middle of that century the chancery was recognized as a new and distinct court.

                                                UNITED STATES

   In the early history of the United States there was strong opposition to the development of equity.   To a large extent this was attributable to the historic relation between the court of chancery and the king in England, to abuses by colonial governors while serving as chancellors in some of the colonies, to distrust of the broad discretion exercised by the chancellors and to the lack o0f trial by jury in equity cases.  Thus, in 1789 when congress enacted the first federal judiciary act, courts of chancery existed in only 5 states: in three states there were only common-law courts:  In three others the law courts had a few equity powers: and in two states the legislature to a limited extent served as a court of equity.

Source:   BRITANNICA   ENCYCLOPAEDIA     1969  DISCONTINUED

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