Equity and Trusts

Module summary

Module code: LAW0793
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Law and Criminology
Module Coordinator(s): Mark Pawlowski / Justin Brunskell

Specification

Aims

To provide the student with an in-depth understanding of equitable principles and a sound knowledge of the law of private and public trusts. In particular, the student should acquire an ability to critically evaluate principles and doctrines and be able to apply them appropriately to given factual situations in the form of advice and legal opinion. In addition, the student will be encouraged to research independently and identify relevant factual data and legal material in providing appropriate answers to legal problems both orally and in writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. To show an in-depth understanding of Equity as a body of rules and principles providing a supplement or corrective to the Common Law.
2. To show a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the law of private and public trusts, in particular:
• The formation and constitution of private trusts.
• Charitable trusts as a means of providing for social and public needs.
• Resulting and constructive trusts in the resolution of disputes in the context of family arrangements.
• Purpose trusts as a means of providing benefits for non-charitable objects.
• Secret trusts as a method of disposing of assets on death without compliance with the legal requirements of a will.
• Proprietary estoppel as a informal method of creating rights in land.
• Tracing in equity as a proprietary remedy available to beneficiaries seeking to follow trust assets into the hands of third party recipients.
3. To acquire the ability to analyse critically equitable principles and doctrines and apply them correctly in giving legal advice orally and by way of a written legal opinion.
4. To identify relevant factual data in formulating sound legal advice.
5. To research independently and identify relevant material in providing appropriate answers to legal problems.
6. To write clearly, succinctly and accurately in the format of a piece of legal advice.

Indicative content

• Nature and history of Equity.
• Modern scope of Equity.
• Equitable maxims and remedies.
• Definition and classification of trusts.
• The three certainties and formalities of a trust.
• The constitution of trusts.
• Protective and discretionary trusts.
• Powers of maintenance and advancement.
• Charitable trusts and the cy-pres doctrine.
• Resulting and constructive trusts.
• Purpose trusts and gifts to unincorporated associations.
• Secret trusts.
• Variation of trusts.
• Duties and liabilities of trustees.
• Equitable remedies, in particular, tracing.

Teaching and learning activity

The module will be taught by means of lectures and seminars. Seminars will be geared towards problem-solving and legal opinion writing to prepare student for legal practice.+

Assessment

Method of Summative Assessment: Coursework.
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5&6.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 40%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: 3000 words.
Outline Details: Legal Opinion.

Method of Summative Assessment: Exam.
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5&6.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 60%
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: n/a.
Outline Details: 3 hour Unseen written examination.

Students are not required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Mini legal opinion in reading week.