This book is about ‘Equity’ and about ‘Trusts’, and not simply about ‘Trusts Law’. Consequently, the very title of this book takes a side in one of the key debates about this subject: is trusts law a technical area in its own right, or can it only be understood properly as part of the more general field of equity? And why do some commentators criticise the very idea of equity? The explanation as to why this book considers equity and trusts law together will take most of the rest of this book to explore, but we can summarise it here. In short, it is because the trust can be understood as a coherent whole — spanning both express trusts and trusts implied by law — only if it is understood as being predicated on a philosophical construct of equity which is in turn based on ensuring the conscionable behaviour of the defendant who will consequently act as trustee.1If trusts law is understood simply as a series of discrete rules disconnected from their roots then many of the principles will make little coherent sense.
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