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Set out a timeline for the creation and evolution of the Common Law Courts including Appellate Courts as they separated out of the Curia Regis. Explain the differing jurisdictions of the Courts and any special or unique features of the Courts or their jurisdiction. The timeline should consider developments until 1875. 

Explain the development of the Courts of the Chancery from the office of the Chancellor and explain the differing jurisdictions of the Chancery Court. 

Explain why it was considered necessary to reform the operation of the Common Law and Equity Courts in the various Judicature Acts of the 19th Century. Explain the main purpose and the effect of the Judicature Act 1875. In the course of your answer to this part explain what is meant by the 'fusion fallacy'. 

History and Origin of Common Law Courts

During the timeline immediately after Norman conquest of England dated year 1066, the existing king decided to involve in bearing cases regarding the available royal interests making the court to be named as Coram Rege .The king started delegating authority leading to the appointment of a tribunal called Curis Regis The three royal common law courts resulted from the king's court. The first one was the evolution of the Exchequer which was initially used in the collection of taxes and administration of the Kings finances. However, the Exchequer was fully mandated with full powers to function as courts by 1250. Then the court of common pleas developed next as just a distinct separate court. It was originally initiated by King Henry II in the 12th century aimed to deal with cases not revolving around the king's rights and interests. The other part of the Curia Regis carried out decisions process review of the existing court of common pleas by offering various writs of error. This particular court also later referred to as the King's Bench also dealt with several cases that required the king's interest and needs, especially cases of both criminal issues and noblemen in the country. Over the evolutionary years, the created common law courts out of Curia Regis was typically written as if proceedings were before the overall king. They literally competed highly with the chancery courts that were established mainly to exercise Equity jurisdiction. The evolution of the common courts was essential as they were consolidated with various high courts by the existing judicature act in the late 19th century.



Norman conquest

Evolution of Exchequer


The common court of pleas


The parliament used a court in hearing cases


Assize circuit courts


The chancery courts evolved


The interested parties in a court of appellate got disqualified


Nonparties disqualified



Law in French land became abolished

Common law courts became propagated to the common wealth



Through 20th century courts of equity and chancery were combined by judicature act

The supreme court of judicature act developed

Appellate courts have existed for several millennia. Appellate courts have existed in japan between (1185-1333 CE).In 1891 the Indian general Assembly led to the evolvement of appellate court comprising of 5 judges. However it have evolved over the years to consist of a panel of 8 judges. The appellate court became a constitutional court in 1970 leading to increment off judges to 9.

Some jurisdictions acquire specialized appellate courts such as Australian federal appellate courts that hear appeals from criminal cases. Conversely, the courts' judgment gives the final directive of the common law courts as to the case appealed, clearly setting out and specifying its continued determination that the matter appealed from ought to undergo modification, affirmation, remand and high reversal ability. Depending on the system, various common law courts may operate both as trial courts and appellate courts, dealing with appeals of decisions finalized by lower courts having quite limited jurisdictions. They have general jurisdiction but generates most caseload from patent cases.

Evolution of Common Law Courts

In the U.S the state and federal appellate courts are restricted to establishing if the lower court carried out the correction required legal determinations and not listening to direct evidence and examining whether the facts of the case were true. The appellate courts are restricted to dealing with appeal case based on the matter that was initiated before the court of trial. Some appellate courts like supreme have consisted of a power of discretionary review. Evidently, only a little portion of trial courts decisions outcomes appears on common law courts including the appellate courts.

For instance in Australia, under the constitution, the federal judicial power is mainly vested in the Australian high court and various federal courts. Some of the courts include Federal court of Australian, federal circuit and family court. These supreme courts have general and unlimited jurisdiction in nature. They can hear justiciable dispute cases for example involving money. The other common courts like federal, unlike the Supreme Court, their main agenda or subject matter should be granted by statute involving the doctrine of accrued jurisdiction. It can rule on cases outside explicit jurisdictions required that they revolve around the bigger matter. The federal courts have jurisdictions over commonwealth law as established by the Australian parliament

The high court has appellate jurisdiction over other existing courts. It also consists of several original jurisdictions and with some vested power over constitutional amendment and review.

The federal courts have jurisdictions of dealing with cases relating corporations, industrial relations, custom and immigration practices, the art of being bankrupt and also trade union activities. It's a superior court with nature of having limited jurisdiction.

Family courts have vital jurisdiction to deal with family matters. The commonwealth has marriage powers and comparison, the decisions of the Full court of both federal and family are binding while decisions of these courts on appeal are not strictly binding.

Evidently, the Court of chancery started to develop as from the fifteenth century in order to give various remedies that could not be obtained in the courts. Courts of Chancery also referred to as courts of equity are operated as distinct jurisdictions in specific areas of the commonwealth. During the 15th century, As a result of dissatisfactions involving powerful local lords who engaged in either bribing or intimidation of juries and court order defiance, the available litigants consequently petitioned their cases to the councils in order to call out for justice. These petitions of the disappointed people were called the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor designed upset of equitable remedies enacted remedies for their operatory activities. In exercising the jurisdiction, the main chancellor was never strictly bound or held by precedent. A chancellor could not agree to deal with a case that had limited remedy like damages.

Court of Common Pleas and King's Bench

The court of chancery was established as at 16th century meant to be the dispenser of equity.

However, as the growth continued the new chancellors were usually lawyers who utilized upcoming case reports to start designing equity into a well-made collection of rules. This contributed to the court's approval and made it be recognized. The 1875 judicature Act marked the abolishment of the injustices resulting from the separate common law courts.

By definition, the court of equity is a court that is purposed to exercise jurisdiction at equity law. It is quite difficult to establish how the courts initially acquired the jurisdiction they currently exercise, however, their authority limits of jurisdiction and their subject matter have been ascertained in a high degree. The remedies for wrongs and human rights enforcement are administered quite differently. These rights secured from a court of chancery are called equitable while those from court law are known as legal.

Its jurisdiction can either be concurrent and exclusive as compared to other courts, it fully exercises concurrent jurisdictions in situations where available rights are complete of a legal nature and where more adequate help is needed. Some of the cases include fraud, accident partnership, and pure partition. It has jurisdictions in the removal of legal impediments to a fair decisive action of a certain question. It, therefore, prevents a particular group or party in getting a trial, prior claim or title that is inequitable. It deals with most cases of both trust and confidence.

Its exclusive jurisdiction involves issuing special relief that is unreachable by a common offers injunctions to reduce waste, damaged injury or securing a certain already settled right.

Among the reforms to a procedure that occurred due to the enactment of the judicature act was necessary since it led to the impacting on the matter of abandonment action. This ensures discontinuance of various case proceedings carried out in the high court. The reform on Order xxx rule known as the summons for directions. It was necessary to make respective pleadings and several proceedings. Another change carried out by the rules called revolutionary reform made it possible for every matter of fact in a common law for example damage to be extensively decided by the main verdict of the jury.

The judicature had two main purpose;

  • To ensure amalgamation of the procedures and process involving the old common law and equitable jurisdictions by carrying out abolishment of the existing common law system. This is done to enhance one tribunal that would properly administer law and equity jurisdictions.
  • To enable the establishment of equity power over the common law in a situation of a certain conflict between two jurisdictions.

The judicature acts made the new courts to be largely dominated by common judges whose ignorance regarding equity matters led made the continued existence of equity jurisprudence to be much endangered. This led to much ridicule and critique. Unfairness, mistakes, and various privacy approaches became marginalized after. The act did not attempt to codify both law and equity in a single agenda or subject matter. It also did not give an alternative description on a new body of either law or equity. It did not offer a platform of an establishment of a new court having separate jurisdictions to the original courts.

This term has been widely used by Australian writers in vast reference to the view that integration of several doctrines and remedy review of the common law and equity is allowed. This approach made a court of law that exercised ultimate jurisdiction in law and equity aspects to ensure separation of distinct equitable doctrine from the common law.

Frank, Jerome, and Brian H. Bix: Law and the modern mind .Routledge (LexisNexis, 4th ed, 2017).

Ginsburg, Tom. "Introduction." In Judicial Politics in Mexico. Routledge (LexisNexis, 3rd ed, 2016).

Imber, Michael, and Tyll Van Geel. Education law . Routledge (Federation Press, 1st, 2010).

Klinck, Dennis R. Conscience, Equity and the Court of Chancery in Early Modern England. Routledge (Federation Press, 15th ed, 2016).

Landis, James M. The Business of the Supreme Court: A Study in the Federal Judicial System. Routledge (LexisNexis press, 20th ed, 2017).

Langdell, C. C. "Discovery under the Judicature Acts 1873 1875." (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2015).

Llewellyn, Karl N. The common law tradition: Deciding appeals. Vol. 16 (Quid Pro Books press, 2nd ed, 2016).

Milsom, Stroud Francis Charles. Historical foundations of the common law (Butterworth-Heinemann press, 11th ed, 2014).

Quillen, William T., and Michael Hanrahan. "A Short History of the Delaware Court of Chancery--1792-1992." Del. J. Corp. L.18 (1993): 819 (Federation Press, 9th ed, 2013).

Rehnquist, William H. "The Prominence of the Delaware Court of Chancery in the State-Federal Joint Venture of Providing Justice." Bus. Law. 48 (1992): 351 (LexisNexis, 10th ed, 2016).

Spence, George. "Equitable Jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery." Law Mag. Quart. Rev. Juris. Ns 5 (1846): 112 (Federation press, 3rd ed, 2015).

Yeo, Tiong Min. "Private International Law from the Equitable Jurisdiction: Imperialism, Universalism and Pluralism." (LexisNexis, 4th Ed, 2010).

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