On the merits
refers to a legal decision based on
the facts in evidence
and the law
pertaining to those facts, because the judge considers technical
and procedural defenses to be overcome or irrelevant.
This is related somewhat to equity
group of rights and procedures intended to provide fairness,
unhampered by technical requirements of the law. In either case,
the court tries to "do the right thing".
Edward III of England first established the separate High Court of Chancery to reach decisions
based on equity or fairness, as opposed to the strict terms of the
Since then, most
jurisdictions have merged courts of law and courts of equity into
one court system.
American states (Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, and Tennessee), have retained separate Courts of Chancery.
Delaware advertises to businesses that incorporation in their state
is advantageous because of their streamlined and efficient
bureaucracy and legal system, which includes a chancery court for