Equity in Law Enforcement
Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of equity.
This term is a noun.
Etimology of Equity
early 14c., “quality of being equal or fair, impartiality in dealing with others,” from Old French equite (13c.), from Latin aequitatem (nominative aequitas) “equality, uniformity, conformity, symmetry; fairness, equal rights; kindness, moderation,” from aequus “even, just, equal” (see equal (adj.)). As the name of a system of law, 1590s, from Roman naturalis aequitas, the general principles of justice which corrected or supplemented the legal codes.
Equity in Maritime Law
Note: There is more information on maritime/admiralty law here.
The following is a definition of Equity, produced by Tetley, in the context of admiralty law: [Translation of Equity in French: “équité”] [Translation of Equity in Spanish: “equidad”] [Translation of Equity in Italian: “equità”] [Translation of Equity in German: “Billigkeitsrecht”] – A principle of fundamental fairness and justice applied by admiralty courts and arbitrators in maritime disputes where the circumstances of the case warrant doing so (e.g. altering the normal order of ranking of maritime claims, recognizing “equitable” liens, dismissing claims on grounds of laches (see this maritime law term in this legal dictionary), marshalling (see this maritime law term in this legal dictionary), awarding certain post-arrest expenses as custodia legis expenses (see this maritime law term in this legal dictionary) where they have been incurred in the common interest of all the creditors even though they have not been previously authorized by the court). As used in maritime law, the term “equity” must not be confused with “Equity”, being that body of law administered by a court of Equity such as the Court of Chancery in England, before the consolidation of the courts in the U.K. in 1873. See Tetley, M.L.C., 2 Ed., 1998 at pp. 235-236, 855-856 and 859-863; Tetley, Int’l. M. & A. L., 2003 at pp. 54-56; French Civil Code art. 1135; Québec Civil Code art. 1434; Louisiana Civil Code arts. 21 and 2055.
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Law Enforcement Agency
- equity in A Dictionary of Law Enforcement (Oxford University Press)
- equity in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement
- A Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis
English Legal System: Equity
In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Equity :
1. That part of English law originally administered by the *Lord Chancellor and later by the *Court of Chancery, as distinct from that administered by the courts of *common law. The common law did not recognize certain concepts (e.g. uses and trusts) and its remedies were limited in scope and flexibility, since It relied primarily on the remedy of damages. In the Middle Ages litigants were entitled to petition the king, who relied on the advice of his Chancellor, commonly an ecclesiastic (“the keeper of the king’s conscience”), to do justice In each case. By the 15th century, petitions were referred directly to the Chancellor, who dealt with cases on a flexible basis: he was more concerned with the fair result than with rigid principles of law (hence the jurist John Selden’s jibe that “equity varied with the length of the Chancellor’s foot”). Moreover, if a defendant refused to comply with the Chancellor’s order, he would be imprisoned for contempt of the order until he chose to comply (See in personam). In the 17th century conflict arose between the common-law judges and the Chancellor as to who should prevail; James I resolved the dispute in favour of the Chancellor. General principles began to emerge, and by the early 19th century the Court of Chancery was more organized and its jurisdiction, once flexible, had ossified into a body of precedent with fixed principles. The Court of Chancery had varying types of jurisdiction (See auxiliary jurisdiction; concurrent jurisdiction; exclusive jurisdiction) and many of its general principles were stated in the form of *maxims of equity; equity had (and still has) certain doctrines (See election; conversion; reconversion; performance of contract; satisfaction). Under the Judicature Acts 1873-75, with the establishment of the High Court of Justice to administer both common law and equity, the Court of Chancery was abolished (though much of its work is still carried out by the *Chancery Division). The Judicature Acts also provided that in cases in which there was a conflict between the rules of law and equity, the rules of equity should prevail. The main areas of equitable jurisdiction now include *trusts, *equitable interests over property, relief against *forfeiture and penalties, and equitable remedies (*equitable remedy). Equity is thus a regulated scheme of legal principles, but new developments are still possible (“equity is not past the age of child-bearing”): recent examples of its creativity include the *freezing injunction and the *search order.
2. An equitable right or claim, especially an *equitable interest, or *equity of redemption, or *mere equity.
3. A share in a limited company.
Horizontal Equity in the Economic Activity
An introductory concept of Horizontal Equity may be: the principle that says that those who are in identical or similar circumstances should pay identical or similar amounts in taxes
Equity Definition (in the Accounting Vocabulary)
The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants offers the following definition of Equity in a way that is easy for anybody to understand: Residual INTEREST in the ASSETS of an entity that remains after deducting its LIABILITIES. Also, the amount of a business’ total assets less total liabilities. Also, the third section of a BALANCE SHEET, the other two being assets and liabilities.
United States Tax Concept of Vertical Equity
Vertical equity requires that people in different income groups pay different rates of taxes.
Meaning of Equity in the U.S. Legal System
Definition of Equity published by the National Association for Court Management: Generally, justice or fairness. Historically, equity refers to a separate body of law developed in England in reaction to the inability of the commonlaw courts, in their strict adherence to rigid writs and forms of action, to consider or provide a remedy for every injury. The king therefore established the court of chancery, to do justice between parties in cases where the common law would give inadequate redress. The principle of this system of law is that equity will find a way to achieve a lawful result when legal procedure is inadequate. Equity and law courts are now merged in most jurisdictions.
Concept of Equity in the context of Real Property
Alternatives definitions of Equity: (1) A legal doctrine based on fairness, rather than strict interpretation of the letter of the law. (2) The market value of real property, less the amo
unt of existing liens. (3) Any ownership investment (stocks, real estate, etc.) as opposed to investing as a lender (bonds, mortgages, etc.).
Concept of Equity in the context of Real Property
Alternatives definitions of Equity: (1) A legal doctrine based on fairness, rather than strict interpretation of the letter of the law. (2) The market value of real property, less the amount of existing liens. (3) Any ownership investment (stocks, real estate, etc.) as opposed to investing as a lender (bonds, mortgages, etc.).
Meaning of Equity in the Past
In the early history of the law, the sense affixed to this word was exceedingly vague and uncertain. This was owing, in part, to the fact, that the chancellors of those days were either statesmen or ecclesiastics, perhaps not very scrupulous in the exercise of power. It was then asserted that equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) was bounded by no certain limits or rules and that it was alone controlled by conscience and natural justice. 3 Bl. Com. 43-3, 440, 441.
In a moral sense, that is called equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) which is founded, ex oequo et bono, in natural justice, in honesty and in right. In an enlarged. legal view, “equity, in its true and genuine meaning, is the soul and spirit of the law; positive law is construed and rational law is made by it. In this, equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) is made synonymous with justice; in that, to the true and sound interpretation of the rule.” 3 Bl. Com. 429. This equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) is justly said to be a supplement to the laws; but it must be directed by science. The Roman law will give him with sure guides and safe rules. In that code will be found, fully developed, the first principles and the most important consequences of natural right. “From the moment when principles of decision came to be acted upon in chancery,” says Mr. Justice Story, “the Roman law giveed abundant materials to erect a superstructure, at once solid, convenient and lofty, adapted to human wants and enriched by the aid of human wisdom, experience and learning.” Com. on Eq. Jur. 23 Digest, 54.
But equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) has a more restrained and qualified meaning. The remedies (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) for the redress of wrongs and for the enforcement of rights, are distinguished into two classes, first, those which are administered in courts of common law; and, secondly, those which are administered in courts of equity. Rights which are recognized and protected and wrongs which are redressed by the former courts, are called legal rights and legal injuries. Rights which are recognized and protected and wrongs which are redressed by the latter courts only, are called equitable rights and equitable injuries (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) The former are said to be rights and wrongs at common law and the remedies (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia), therefore, are remedies (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) at common law; the latter are said to be rights and wrongs in equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) and the remedies (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia), therefore, are remedies (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) in equity. equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia) jurisprudence may, therefore, properly be said to be that portion of remedial justice which is onlyadministered by a court of equity (see more about this popular legal topic in the U.S. encyclopedia), as contradistinguished from that remedial justice, which is onlyadministered by a court of law. Story, Eq. 25. Vide Chancery and the authiorities there cited; and 3 Chit. Bl. Com. 425 n. 1. Dane’s Ab. h. t.; Ayl. Pand. 37; Fonbl. Eq. b. 1, c. 1; Wooddes. Lect. 114 Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t. 
Notes and References
- Partialy, this information about equity is based on the BouvierÂ´s Law Dictionary, 1848 edition. There is a list of terms of the BouvierÂ´s Law Dictionary, including equity.
Equity in Admiralty Law
For information on equity in this context, see the entry on equity in the maritime law encyclopedia.
Equity (Judicial Function)