chancery (chan-s[schwa]r-ee).

1. A court of equity; collectively, the courts of equity. ? The term is derived from the court of the Lord Chancellor, the original English court of equity.

¡ª Also termed court of chancery; chancery court.

¡°Chancery’s jurisdiction was complementary to that of the courts of common law ¡ª it sought to do justice in cases for which there was no adequate remedy at common law. It had originated in the petition, not the writ, of the party who felt aggrieved to the Lord Chancellor as ¡®keeper of the King’s conscience.¡¯ In its origins, therefore, Chancery’s flexible concern for justice complemented admirably the formalism of a medieval system of common law which had begun to adhere strictly, perhaps overstrictly on occasion, to prescribed forms. By 1800, however, Chancery’s system was itself regarded as being both consistent and certain.¡± A.H. Manchester, Modern Legal History of England and Wales, 1750¨C1950 135¨C36 (1980).

2. The system of jurisprudence administered in courts of equity. See EQUITY. [Cases: Equity

1. C.J.S. Equity ¡ì¡ì 2¨C5, 7¨C8, 10.]

3. Int’l law. The place where the head of a diplomatic mission and staff have their offices, as distinguished from the embassy (where the ambassador lives).


Chancery Court of York. Eccles. law. The ecclesiastical court of the province of York, responsible for appeals from provincial diocesan courts. ? This court corresponds to the Court of Arches in the Province of Canterbury. Cf. COURT OF ARCHES.

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