Ethics and equity: Enforcing ethical standards in commercial relationships

Journal of Business Ethics 23 (2):161 - 172 (2000)
Lawyers and the legal system have been much criticized in recent years. Despite popular perceptions, the legal system contains numerous mechanisms and rules designed to ensure fair results. This paper shows how the legal system tries to implement, in commercial transactions, the ethical principles of truthfulness and fairness. The Anglo-American development of Equity Courts is reviewed briefly. Several examples of the Law's enforcement of ethical principles are presented, in four different legal areas: Contracts, Securities, Goods, and Real Estate. The intent here is to present an overview of the problem, with area-specific illustrations, rather than a comprehenisve examination of the cases in just one area.
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