One aspect of available relief is the delivery up and cancellation of certain documents.
Equity will order the delivery up and cancellation of documents in circumstances where these documents are void or voidable. The object of this jurisdiction is to prevent the further performance of an illegal transaction by the cancellation of the documents the subject of the illegality.
In the words of Rich and Dixon JJ in Langman v Handever (1929) 43 CLR 334 at 352 citing Story’s Commentaries on Equitable Jurisprudence (2nd ed, 1892 – sec 700):
“The jurisdiction of Courts of equity to direct delivery up and cancellation of instruments which, although good on their face, are, in fact, void, is thoroughly established by decisions. “And these decisions are founded on the true principles of equity jurisprudence, which is not merely remedial, but is also preventive of injustice. If an instrument ought not to be used or enforced, it is against conscience for the party holding it to retain it; since he can only retain it for some sinister purpose” (Story,Equity Jurisprudence, sec. 700).”
This tab updated on 20 October 2015