Title page from Principles of Equity

Principles of Equity

Principles of Equity is Kames’s most lasting contribution to jurisprudence. He sought to explain the distinction between the nature of equity and common law and to address related questions, such as whether equity should be bound by rules and whether there should be separate courts of law and equity.

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The Principles is divided into three books. The first two, “theoretical,” books examine the powers of a court of equity as derived from justice and from utility, the two great principles Kames felt governed equity. The third book aims to be more practical, showing the application of these powers to several subjects, such as bankrupts.

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Key Quotes

Free Trade

Regulations that encroach on freedom of commerce, by favouring some to the prejudice of others, is what renders a monopoly odious in the sight of law. However beneficial a monopoly may be to the privileged, it is a wrong done to the rest of the people, by prohibiting them arbitrarily from the…