Justice and the defence of rights in England and Wales : the case of Equity

Abstract : As the legal system known as Common Law was developing in England, access to justice via the procedural writ system was abruptly limited by the 1258 Provisions of Oxford, which denied access to those litigants who could not fit in the existing claim forms and prevented judges from creating new ones. The King, “Fountain of Justice” and last resort for the petitioners, delegated his residual prerogative to render justice to his Lord Chancellor, both secretary and confessor. The latter remedied to this denial of justice by setting up a system of court designed to mitigate and correct the rigours of the law without becoming a substitute for it. This system, inspired by canon law and called Equity, decides cases according to what is morally right, and introduces new rights, new procedures and new remedies into English law.
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Contributor : Anne-Marie O'Connell <>
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Anne-Marie O' Connell. Justice and the defence of rights in England and Wales : the case of Equity. Miroirs : Revue des civilisations anglophone, ibérique et ibéro-américaine, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, Département des Langues et Civilisations, 2016, Médiateurs et Défenseurs de Droits en France et dans les mondes hispanique et anglophone, pp.50-65. ⟨http://www.revuemiroirs.fr⟩. ⟨hal-01325692⟩

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