Equity and Trusts - LW598

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MR N Piska


LW316/324 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.

Indicative 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)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, principles and, rules, relating to equity and trusts;
2.Apply detailed knowledge and understanding of the jurisprudence of equity, the interaction between the common law and equity and the contributions equity has made, and continues to make, to English law;
3.Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the historical development of Equity and Trusts in a social, political, and economic context;
4.Communicate an appreciation of the evolution of the key themes in equity and trusts in terms of their use in specific historical and contemporary developments;
5.Demonstrate an understanding of the development, and current state, of the law of equity and trusts from a comparative perspective (e.g. with other common law jurisdictions);
6.Engage in a critical discussion and evaluation of the benefits of using equity and trusts as legal strategies (in the context of other legal strategies e.g. restitution).

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