Introduction: Lord Kames and His Principles of Equity

LORD KAMES AND HIS PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY, Third Edition, Henry Home, ed., 2011

65 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2011  

Andreas Rahmatian

University of Glasgow - School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

One should regard the Principles of Equity by Lord Kames (1696-1782) as a work of applied legal philosophy rather than black-letter law. It is secondary whether the law was exactly as stated in the Principles of Equity, especially as that would have been the legal situation 250 years ago anyway. What is relevant is that the book contains a logically organised and principled jurisprudential discussion of scenarios of conflicts and proposed solutions by the law of equity. One should be able to detect and develop a set of legal solution mechanisms, abstract paradigms of concrete legal rules which may serve as an inspiring force for real life solutions without slavish adherence to the model. The Principles of Equity fill the gap between the philosopher who is often creative but not meticulous, and the lawyer who is often meticulous but exegetic. Where the lawyer has to be meticulous and creative and needs the approach of an applied philosopher as well as a legal specialist, particularly in the role as a legal theorist or as a draftsperson of statutes and contracts, he or she will find an excellent teacher in Kames. His work shows that law is not rote learning of statutes and cases and their mechanical application, but a craft as a basis for the art of justice, a craft that should be rooted more in reason than in authority.

Keywords: Lord Kames, Henry Home, Principles of Equity, Jurisprudence, Applied Philosophy, Property, Trust, Contract

JEL Classification: K10, K11, K12, K14, K41

Suggested Citation

Rahmatian, Andreas, Introduction: Lord Kames and His Principles of Equity (July 1, 2011). LORD KAMES AND HIS PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY, Third Edition, Henry Home, ed., 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918046

Andreas Rahmatian (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow - School of Law ( email )

School of Law, Stair Building
5-8 The Square
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

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