Remedies in Equity have 3 features
1.            They are discretionary;
2.            They act in personam
3.            They are only granted where the common law remedy or damages are inadequate.

1.   Discretion:           the court will exercise discretion in some instances.  The court will look at the conduct of the Plaintiff and on the basis of that it can refuse to grant remedy to the plaintiff. (he who seeks equity must do equity, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands, delay defeats equity).   Equitable remedies are discretionary.  Adequacy of the common law remedy.  If it is found that damages at common law will adequately compensate the Plaintiff, equity will not grant a remedy.

2.    Equity acts in Personam – the remedies are granted against a particular person, they are directed at a person.

Penn v. Lord Baltimore (1750) 1 Vs

In this case specific performance was ordered of an agreement relating to the boundaries of land in America, the defendant being in England.  The court decreed specific performance of an English agreement relating to the boundaries between Pennsylvania and Maryland, despite the inability of the court to enforce its remedy in rem.

Richard West & Partners (Inverness Ltd) v. Dick [1969]

In Gilligan v. National Bank Limited – inadequacy of the common law remedy

Justice Barton said “a remarkable feature of equity is the ability and willingness of equity to grant elastic remedies which were not obtainable at law”.  In this quote one can discern two characteristics of equity, discretion and granted in personam.


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