Principles of Equity

This lesson looks at principles of equity, a topic that has been mentioned earlier in this course and likely examined in other courses as well. The focus is on the modern law of trusts, including express, resulting and constructive trusts.

Ancient rules will be presented only on a need-to-know basis (and there is some need-to-know), as our focus will be on contemporary issues and current events. The lesson also draws a link between intellectual property, equity, Aboriginal rights and cultural misappropriation.

We’ll divide the topic into three classes: one on the origins of equity and the modern law of resulting trusts, another on constructive trusts and contemporary approaches to the division of family property, and an incredible special Monday session features judges and counsel who were actually involved in one of the key cases we study.

For our first class explaining the origins of equity, and introducing express, resulting€, and constructive trusts, read pages 461-487 and 518-526.

Then, our coverage of equity and trusts moves to unjust enrichment and constructive trusts, which are extremely important complements to the statutory provisions of family law legislation in every province throughout Canada. Pages 487-510 deal with this topic.

Our Monday session during this lesson will feature an incredible panel of guest speakers. Judges and lawyers who were involved in Vanasse v Seguin will share with us their experiences with the case from the trial, through appeal, all the way to the Supreme Court. We are pleased to welcome:

  • Justice Jennifer Blishen, SCJ – trial judge in Vanasse v Seguin
  • Mr. John Johnson, Nelligan O’Brien Payne (retired) – lead counsel for Ms. Vanasse (at trial, Ont CA & SCC)
  • Mr. Hunter Phillips, MacKinnon & Phillips – lead counsel for Mr. Seguin (at trial, Ont CA & SCC)
  • Justice Jennifer Mackinnon  (SCJ) – ten minute “inspirational” speech
What a way to end this lesson!