Equity – law and idea
This free course, Equity – law and idea, is divided into two parts. To begin you will explore the background of equity. The discussion will focus on two interrelated perspectives concerning equity both as a body of laws and idea of justice. One example of why these might be considered ‘interrelated’ is that equity as an idea represents ‘an ethic for imagining better law and better life’ (Watt, 2012, p. 1), meaning inter alia, taking seriously equity’s foundational principles in the practice of law, and (re)focusing on forms of equity that do not allow law to be ‘fully in command’ or morality to lose relevance (Fox, 1993, p. 101). The product of this ‘refocus’ is a juridical mode of thinking capable of challenging and holding to account opportunism in respect of property dealings within modern capitalist society. Opportunism thus represents negative, immoral or unethical aspects that arise under capitalism as the prevailing form of economic organisation in England and Wales. The second section will then develop this evaluation of equity further in terms of the contemporary economic context. This includes, for example, considering the argument that, contrary to a vision of equity as a form of defence or mitigation against opportunism, that it in fact promotes opportunism via, for example, trusts.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.