Equity and Trusts - LW598

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR H Gibson


LW316 or LW5316 Foundations of Property. LW650 Law of Contract is a pre-requisite or a co-requisite.

Only available to students following a Law programme of study (either single or joint honours).


Available only to Law students.



This module, normally taken in Stage 2, introduces the student to the main principles and doctrines of equity and trusts. It is designed to challenge the somewhat dull image of this area of law and to encourage a critical and imaginative understanding of the subject. The law of equity and trusts is contextualized within a historical, social and jurisprudential inquiry thereby providing a much wider range of possible interpretations of its development and application. What then becomes central to the module’s approach is the complex interrelation of law with ethical, political, economic and jurisprudential considerations, and that between legal outcomes, pragmatic concerns and policy objectives.

Drawing upon the student’s experience of the study of law, in particular that gained from Foundations of Property Law and Property Law, this module examines the trust both as a private legal institution (the trust in family and commercial settings) and a public one (the charitable trust), placing special emphasis on the management of the trust and the powers, duties and obligations of the trustee. Yet in departing from conventional approaches this module does not study equity merely in regards to its role as the original creator of the trust. Equity is instead acknowledged to be what it really is - a vital and fruitful component of the English legal system; a distinct form of legal interpretation possessing its own principles and method of legal reasoning, and comprising an original and continuing source of legal development in the sphere of remedies.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Lectures 20 hours; seminars 10 hours.

Method of assessment

30% coursework, consisting of 1 piece of written work of 2500 words, and a 2 hour written examination.

Preliminary reading

S Degeling, and J Edelman, (eds.), Equity in Commercial Law (Sydney: Law Book co, 2005)
S Gardner Introduction to the Law of Trusts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
G Moffat Trust Law: Texts and Materials (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
S Worthington Equity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

To build on existing knowledge of the inter-action between common law and equity.
To place the development of the jurisprudence of equity and trusts in a social, political and economic context.
An introduction to aspects of the procedure and practice of Equity and Trusts.
To gain a sound grounding in the concepts, principles and rules relating to Equity and Trusts.
To explore the development and current state of the law of Equity and Trusts from a comparative perspective.
To engage in a critical discussion of the problems and advantages of using Equity and Trusts and evaluate their use in the context of other legal strategies(eg restitution)

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