Aequitas legem sequitur

Aequitas legem sequitur

Literal Meaning

Equity follows the law.


This maxim means that equity adopts and follows the rules of law in all cases to which those rules may in terms be applicable. The main purpose of the maxim seems to keep judicial action within the boundaries which established by the prior course of adjudication, in line with existing legal principles. Thus, the equity came not to destroy the law but to fulfil it, to supplement it, to explain it. Equity respects every word of law.




In a concept of trust, the beneficiaries are regarded as the equitable owners; equity does not deny the legal title of the trustee.

Case References

Anil Kumar Verma v. State of U.P. and others, 2008 SCC OnLine All 116

In this case the petitioner’s case is only based on equity. As because he is only short of one mark and not placed in the select list of the year 2000 against the vacancy created for the Scheduled Caste candidates, he can be easily accommodated even in 2006 as no period fixed under the Rules for lapsing the select list. Court held that equity is not one way of traffic. Equity follows law following the maxim aequitas sequitur legem. In other words, it is moving on the periphery of law and when law allows entering, forms a zygote.

Cowper v. Cowper, 2 P. Wins. 720, 753 (1753)

In the judgement of this case court mentioned that the moulding of new equitable interests so that they possessed most of the incidents of the corresponding legal estates is the best known application of the maxim, Acquitas sequitur legem.

Magniac v. Thomson, 15 How. 281 (1853)

In the judgement of this case court mentioned that a judgment discharged at law by release of the defendant from civil arrest will not be revived in equity. Equity is even more likely to follow the law in these fields when the same court administers both law and equity.

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Shivani Rani
I am Shivani Rani from Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh pursuing BALLB(Hons.). Criminal law and personal laws of country attracts me the most. I like to read books mostly based on fictin and also like to watch suspense & thriller movies as well as crime thriller web series, in free time. I love to take part in moot court competitions as well as research study work. I am enthusiastic about exploring new places and listening music. I am kind of ambivert person i.e., not so introvert and not so extrovert.