Home >> Business Encyclopedia And Legal Adviser >> Bank Rate to Clearing >> Chancery


court, division and equity

CHANCERY DIVISION.—This is the title of one of the divisions of the High Court of Justice, as established by the Judicature Acts. This division is the successor of the former Court of Chancery, which administered equity, as technically distinguished from law; now, strictly speaking, there is no such court, its modern representative being but a division of the High Court. The exclusive statutory jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery has been preserved by the Judicature Acts, but the matters assigned by them to the new Chancery Division are not co-extensive with the old equity jurisdic tion. On the other hand, almost any common law action can now be brought in the Chancery Division. The aim of the Judicature Acts was to abolish all distinction between law and equity, and to make the High Court, and its divisions, the court of both equally. So far as that particular aim is concerned the Act may be said to have failed, for the Chancery Division is to-day, in the subject-matter of the causes it deals with, almost as exclusively a court of equity as was its predecessor.

The following are the causes and matters peculiarly within the cognisance of this division : The administration of the estates of deceased persons ; the dissolution .of partnerships and the taking of partnership accounts; the

redemption and foreclosure of mortgages ; the raising of portions or other charges on land ; the sale and distribution of the proceeds of property, subject to any lien or charge ; the execution of trusts, charitable or private ; the rectification, or setting aside, or cancellation of deeds or other written instruments; the specific performance of contracts between vendors and purchasers of real estates, including contracts for leases ; the partition or sale of real estates; the wardship of infants, and the care of infants' estates.

The practice of the Court is practically the same as that of the King's Bench Division [see ACTION], but, as a necessity of the character of the actions with which it deals, it has an extensive and comprehensive procedure in chambers adapted for the working out of its judgments. By this means, for example, after decreeing the dissolution of a partnership, it will adjust the accounts between the partners in the chambers of the judge.