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Extract: Where did the Australian courts come from? On what system were they modelled? The answer is that the Australian courts were modelled on the English common law courts. They retain many of the English system’s characteristics. And what about this term "equity"? Equity (meaning fairness) was the name given to a "rival" or parallel court to the common law courts. This court and the system of law it spawned - also called Equity - began in England, springing from the office of the Lord Chancellor, the highest judicial figure in England.