clean hands

I am sure your mother always told you as a child to keep your hands clean. But did you know what that means in a legal sense?

“Clean hands” are important in court proceedings (or, should we say any dispute where a remedy is sought “at equity.”)

We are not talking of a requirement of personal hygiene but referring to an equitable principle (i.e. principle of justice) that when a claimant (or “plaintiff”) brings an action against another party (defendant), the claimant  cannot generally successfully seek an equitable remedy (e.g. an injunction) if the claimant has itself been unfair or unjust. In other words, the court will say that “you must come to court with clean hands.”

So, get washing!