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Equity XVII

5) Equity will not permit a statute to be used as an instrument of fraud. If a court finds that by insisting that the provisions of a statute be complied with will facilitate or permit fraud then equity will intervene on behalf of the aggrieved party. In Banister v Banister (1948) Mrs. Banister inherited two cottages upon the death of her husband and she sold both cottages to her brother in law for £150 less than the market value on the promise that she could live in the cottage that she was occupying for the rest of her life.
Upon the completion of the sale her brother in law sought to evict her, and Mrs. Banister claimed that she had a beneficial life interest that arose when her brother in law gave her an oral undertaking that she could remain in the property for life.
Her brother in law sought to rely on s. 53 (1) (b) of the Law of Property Act 1925 which reads as follows:- “a declaration of trust respecting any land or any interest therein must be manifested and proved by some writ…

Equity XVI

4) Equity looks at substance rather than form. Equity looks into the subject matter and decides on the facts rather than merely complying with the legal formalities. In Parkin v Thorold (1852) Lord Romilly (MR) recognized the fact that equity will distinguish between what is a matter of form and what is a matter of substance. If they find that by looking at the form or by merely adhering to formalities, the substance will be defeated, then equity will go further and look into the substance of the matter.
Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

Equity XV

3) The following two maxims are concerned with priorities: -
a) Where the equities are equal the law prevails i.e. when two parties have acted equitably, and there is no evidence of either party acting in bad faith (mala fide) or there is no evidence of fraud, then equity cannot provide a remedy and the law will prevail.
b) Where the equities are equal the first in time prevails. The second maxim is slightly more complicated than the first. When there are two equities i.e. two parties with equal interests than the first party that registered his or her interest or the original equity will succeed as opposed to the next. It goes back to the issue of notice and at times when there is an equitable interest involved it is best to give notice to others that such a right or interest exists.
Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward