So the maxim goes, “He who comes to equity must approach the court with clean hands”.
What does this mean?
It looks clear and unqualified in its intention.
However, the maxim does not apply as broadly as it says. It’s not a rule of law. It’s a statement of public policy enforced by courts.
It’s commonly understood that the maxim means that a claimant should be deprived of all court-based remedies, because of some dishonesty, misrepresentation, illegality or unfairness.
That’s not correct.
The principle does not always exclude all remedies. It doesn’t apply as widely as you might first think.