Evolution of Common Law

Principle of Equity
Equity, the body of law that supplements the common law and corrects injustices by judging each case on its merits and applying principles of fairness. In the 15th Century, citizens brought petitions to the king claiming that the common law courts had made an unjust decision in their case. The Chancellor was subsequently appointed to deal with the petitions.
The Chancellor was a priest, as well as a judge and therefore did not base his or her decision on precedent; but Christian beliefs. Equity is a body of law developed to deal with the injustices in the common law and was established to handle the petitions.
The Court of Chancery, a court of equity, looked at all the features of each case and decided what was fair and just in each particular circumstance. The moral principles on which equitable decisions were based were called the rules of equity.
Although the systems of common law and equity co-exist agreeably, there are conflicts that arise from time to time. In the 17th Century, dispute between a Chancellor and a Chief Justice had arisen, King James I had to step in and resolve the situation. After discussions, it was concluded that whenever common law and equity conflicted, equity would prevail.
In the 1870s, the British Parliament passed legislation combining the courts of common law and courts of equity, allowing judges to apply both the rules of common law or equity in a case. Australia followed with a similar legislation.
Role of precedent
Precedent, as defined by dictionary.com is “a legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases. To better analysis the role of precedent we shall look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Firstly the advantages:
To decide a case as you think might be right without any regard to principles laid down in previous similar cases would only result in a completely uncertain law In which no citizen would know his...