Justice follows the law


Equity does not conflict with the law, nor does it overrule the statutory provisions. Nor is it the enemy of the law. It adopts and obeys the basic rules of the law. Equity is not unlawful case law, but a supplement to the law. It is a well-known rule that justice follows the analogies of law. Equity did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, supplement it, explain it. Justice respects every word of the law.


Justice should supplement the law and not replace it.


Cowper vs. Cowper 1734, 2P WNS 720

The discretion of the court is subject to the rules of law and equity, which do not contradict but are subordinate to each other. This discretion follows legality in some cases, assists it in others and furthers the appeal; in others, however, it exonerates the abuse or mitigates its severity, but in no case contradicts or overrides its rationale.


It finds application in the following two aspects.

1. Regarding legal goods, rights and interests:

Equity has been and is strictly bound by the rules of law in relation to goods, rights and interests and has no discretion to deviate from them. Justice does not permit improper use of legal rights, hence justice follows in relation to the primogeniture rule.


Strickland vs. Never 1804

It has been found that the exclusion of the younger family member from property under the primogeniture rule does not create special circumstances qualifying for relief at Quiry as the eldest son only receives what is legally his due.

2. Regarding reasonable rights and interests:

In many cases, equity has an analogous effect to the legal norms relating to equity titles and estates. The just estate is based on the rules of decency as a legal estate.

Important aspects of the maxim:

The following are the two important aspects of this maxim.

Equity adopts and follows the rules of law in all cases where applicable.

Equity follows the analogy of law


Exceptions are listed below

I. Where a legal norm did not expressly apply.

ii. Where the rule of law did not apply analogously, equity formulated and applied its own rules.

Closing remarks:

In conclusion, justice always follows the law in the sense that it obeys it and conforms to its general rules and guidelines, whether they are in common law or in the statute. The rules of equity cannot overrule the special statutory provisions.

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