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Equity & Trusts

What is equity an trusts? Equity has relevance in a modern context, it is therefore important to understand the working of equity within the concept of trusts. The concept of trust has relevance not only in institutional relationships but also where equity has acted to provide a remedy in other situations.

The fundamental principle of equity as a system of law and its relationship with the 'common law' must be given understanding. 

Equity has relevance in a modern context, it is therefore important to understand the workings of equity and trusts. The concept of a trust has relevance not only in institutional relationships but also where equity has acted to provide a remedy in other situations. Therefore, to better understand how a trust operates, one must first understand how equity operates apart from a trust. Those understanding this area of law must first understand the dynamic role of equity and, in particular, the trust. This is so that an understanding of the principles of the trust, the nature of the trustee and of the beneficial interests behind the trust can be created. This is why 'equity' tends to be used reciprocally with the term 'trust'. 

The role of equity and trusts in law can be called upon in some of the following examples:- equitable proprietary rights, Mareva injunctions, Anton Piller Orders, express private trusts, charitable trusts, resulting and constructive trusts and mutual wills. This type of law can also be found where there is a fiduciary relationship relating to the powers and duties of trustees etc. 

Equity though just is not legal justice, but a rectification of legal justice. The reason for this is that law is always a general statement, yet there are cases which it is not possible to cover in a general statement. In matters therefore where, while it is necessary to speak in general terms, it is not possible to do so correctly, the law takes into consideration the majority of cases, although it is not unaware of the error this involves. And this does not make it wrong law; for the error is not in law nor in the lawgiver, but in the nature of the case... This is the essential nature of equitable: it is a rectification of law where law is defective because of generality....

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, V.x.3-7

The difference between legal and equitable rights can be distinguished more particularly in the law of property. 

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