In legal contexts, equity is a system of law which, like the Common Law, has its origin in England, and was developed to decide cases according to principles of fairness rather than according to strict rules of law. This system came after the Common Law in order to provide more reliefs than those provided by the Common Law and also to make access to justice easier for people.
Some of the guiding principles of this system are “equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy”, “equity aids the vigilant, not the indolent (i.e. those who slumber over their rights)”,”equity will not allow a trust to fail for want of a trustee”, “equity will not allow a statute to be used as a cloak for fraud”, “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”, “equity delights in equality” and “he who seeks equity must do equity”. These principles are popularly known as maxims of equity.