It is well know that some jurisdictions in the United States, most prominently Delaware, maintain separate equity courts (Courts of Chancery), as formerly existed in England prior to the Judicature Acts.

Are there any non-US common law jurisdictions (including non-sovereign territories, sub-national entities, etc) which today retain separate courts of law and Equity?

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    The Chancery Division still exists in England & Wales, part of the Business & Property Courts. Perhaps "England & Wales" is actually an answer. Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 19:06
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    @AndrewLeach Definitely not, not least because the ChD can grant all remedies , as can any other division! I suggest you consult the lecture give by Lord Burnett CJ on the divisions of the high court (I’ll look for a link) to clarify
    – user38749
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 19:25
  • There is a strong distinction between a separate court of equity and a division of a unified court of Judicature given subject matter over matters likely to involve equitable remedies; equally, E&W does not have a system of separate administrative courts like France, even if there is an ‘Administrative Court’ list in the QBD
    – user38749
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 19:27
  • The existence of divisions in the HC does not undo the merger created by the Judicature Acts…
    – user38749
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


The Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia (a trial court of general jurisdiction) has a dedicated equity division within it that operates, in practice, like a separate court, even though it is administratively unified with the courts of law in its other divisions.

But this division, while it focuses on cases where the primary dispute arises in equity is not limited exclusively to equity jurisprudence in the manner that the Court of Chancery in England was in the early 18th century. For example, a modern equity division would apply a statute of limitations, which the 18th century Court of Chancery in England did not. This is also true of most or all U.S. courts of equity or courts of chancery. Still, Australia and some U.S. courts at least have administrative divisions within their court systems that are primarily equitable in nature and a derived from the traditional law and equity division in case subject-matter (which is also still alive in almost all U.S. courts as a test of whether there is a right to a jury trial in civil cases).

In my non-exhaustive but not comprehensive search, I was not able to locate any other non-U.S. courts of equity that are still in operation. The U.S. has a number of states with courts of equity, including Delaware and Wyoming.

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    Intersting—my understanding is that the NSWSC, being modelled to some extent on the Supreme Court of Judicature (as was), empowers all divisions to grant legal and equitable remedies, whereas a separate equitable court (as in Delaware) is defined by having access only to equitable remedies rather than law. But NSWSC is something I don't know enough about to be 100%
    – user38749
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 21:10
  • Unless someone else comes along with a disproving counterexample, I'm very happy to accept your answer (and will do so after the question has been up a bit longer)
    – user38749
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 21:12
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    The NSWSC equity division is not an equity court. It has access to legal and equitable remedies. It’s an administrative division and deals with cases primarily grounded in equity. Just like the construction division deals in cases primarily grounded in construction disputes.
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 22:58
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    @tex_user_7 the consensus is that law and equity have merged in Australian jurisprudence
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 2:51
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    @Seekinganswers No. There are lawyers with careers in fields that were historically in equity jurisdiction (e.g. corporate law, probate, and divorce), but it would be very rare for any lawyer in the U.S. to characterize their practice as an "equity" practice either as a form of self-identification or as a marketing tool.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 1:06

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