The Earl of Oxford Case solidified the position of the court of chancery in English Legal System. This resulted in the presence of two courts with different jurisdiction.

This caused a lot of distress to litigants who had to go to both courts when in need of equitable and common law remedies. This was because the common law courts could only grant damages while the court of chancery could grant injunctions and other equitable remedies.

In order to solve this problem, the parliament made some laws to lessen the burden on the litigants; The Common Law Procedure Act Of 1854, The Chancery Amendment Act Of 1852 And The Chancery Amendment Act Of I858.

However, the problem increased with the establishment of limited liability companies because the courts of equity were still using its power of injunction to frustrate the rules of common law and stall proceedings.


The real union between the two courts only came about when the Judicature Act was enacted on November 1, 1873. This act introduced a lot of reforms that changed the face of the common law legal system. The reforms are as follows:

1. Reform of the system of the court

The major change was the merger of the common law courts and the courts of chancery into the supreme court of judicature. The latter consisted of the high court of justice and the court of appeal.

2. Settlement of conflict between common law and equity

The most important provision is the provision of Section 25(11) which stated that where there is a general conflict between equitable and common law rules, the rules of equity would prevail.

The first 10 subsections of S25 dealt with conflicts while the 11th subsection dealt with general provision.

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